The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases reports the following gender-related lupus facts:
“Anyone can get lupus. But 9 out of 10 people who have it are women. African American women are three times more likely to get lupus than white women. It’s also more common in Hispanic/Latino, Asian, and American Indian women.
They also tend to have more severe disease than whites. For example, African American patients have more seizures and strokes, while Hispanic/Latino patients have more heart problems. We don’t understand why some people seem to have more problems with lupus than others.”
Concerned about lupus discrimination
As a Caucasian woman with lupus, I am concerned about the discriminatory demographics of lupus and it’s unfairness toward my “lupus sisters” of color. While we cannot change the genetic and racial predispositions of any auto-immune disease such as lupus, we can help spread awareness about it. We need to take the message of lupus awareness to the populations most heavily affected by it, to help promote early diagnosis and treatment. We should get involved in organizations such as the Lupus Foundation of America and support their efforts on behalf of all lupus patients.
Everyone should know about lupus, and should learn to recognize the most common symptoms in themselves or someone else. Increased awareness impacts earlier diagnosis, which in turn has long-term impacts on decreasing the severity and mortality of lupus. We can fight lupus discrimination with lupus awareness!