Lupus is an autoimmune disease. In an autoimmune disease, the body's immune system mistakes healthy tissues and organs as foreign and potentially dangerous invaders into the body and attacks them. This results in inflammation that eventually can damage and destroy the affected tissues and organs. Another study is testing a combination of two medicines. One is a standard drug and the other is a new drug. Scientists hope that the combination will be more effective and cause fewer side effects.
In the study period, 68 patients developed SLE. The observed IR (per 100?000 person-years, (CI 95%)) was 6.3 (4.9 to 7.7) for total population; 8.9 (CI 6.6 to 11.2) for women and 2.6 (1.2 to 3.9) for men. On 1 January 2009, 75 prevalent cases were identified. Prevalence rates (cases per 100?000 habitants, (CI 95%)) were 58.6 (46.1 to 73.5) for total population; 83.2 (63.9 to 106.4) for women and 23 (CI 11.9 to 40.1) for men.
Anti-inflammatory drugs can help control arthritis symptoms; skin lesions may respond to topical treatment such as corticosteroid creams. Oral steroids, such as prednisone, are used for the systemic symptoms. Wearing protective clothing and sunscreen when outdoors is recommended.
NIAMS researchers have found a gene linked to a higher risk of lupus kidney disease in African Americans. Changes in this gene keep the immune system from removing harmful germ-fighters from the body after they've done their job. Other genes may also play a role.Lupus is more common in women than in men. Researchers are looking into the role of hormones and other male-female differences. One NIAMS project is testing a new drug that scientists hope will have milder side effects than standard treatments.