Lupus nephritis is inflammation of the kidney that is caused by systemic lupus erythematous (SLE). Also called lupus, SLE is an autoimmune disease. With lupus, the body's immune system targets its own body tissues. Lupus nephritis happens when lupus involves the kidneys. People with lupus nephritis that is causing high blood pressure may need to take medications that lower their blood pressure and can also significantly slow the progression of kidney disease.
Results of this study show there were 42,221 lupus patients, with 8,191 having lupus nephritis. The racial/ethnic breakdown of patients with lupus or lupus nephritis was 40% Black, 38% White, 15% Hispanic, 5% Asian, and 2% Native American. The annual mortality rate for those with lupus per 1,000 person-years was highest in Native Americans (27.52), Blacks (24.13), and Whites (20.17). Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and other blood pressure medications may also be needed.
Two types of blood pressure lowering medications, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), have proven effective in slowing the progression of kidney disease. Many people require two or more medications to control their blood pressure. In addition to an ACE inhibitor or an ARB, a diuretic—a medication that helps the kidneys remove fluid from the body—may be prescribed.
In recent years, researchers have learned a great deal about kidney disease. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) sponsors several programs aimed at better understanding all types of kidney disease, including lupus nephritis. Immune System Related Kidney Disease, funded under NIH clinical trial number NCT00001979, studies patients with autoimmune diseases of the kidney, including lupus nephritis.