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Women More Likely to Die from Lupus than Men

A 20-year study released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control found that women are more than 5 times more likely than men to die from lupus. In addition, the study also found that blacks patients were 3 times more likely than white patients to die from the disease. Overall, the study found that black, middle-aged women, age 45 to 64, not only had the highest death rate, but they had the biggest increase in death rates over the past 20 years.

Lupus is a disease of the immune system in which the immune system inappropriately attacks tissues in various parts of the body. This abnormal activity of the immune system leads to tissue damage and illness. Many lupus patients may also develop arthritis and/or vital organ problems, such as kidney disease. The cause of lupus is not known, hormones, genetics, and environmental factors are all being considered as factors.

Sources:

Washington Post 5/3/02, CDC News Release 5/2/02

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