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    Science Saturday: Lupus rates increasing, communities of color especially vulnerable

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New research led by Mayo Clinic shows that more people are being diagnosed with lupus than in the past, while risks of severity and death remain the same. The study is published in BMJ Annals of the Rheumatologic Diseases.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and pain throughout the body. Most common in women (9 of 10 diagnosed cases); it attacks both joints and organs – including the skin.

"In our study, we confirmed that in more than 40 years, overall survival among patients with lupus did not improve. Neither was there any apparent improvement in disease severity," says Ali Duarte Garcia, M.D., a rheumatologist and health services researcher at Mayo Clinic and the study's first author. "Unfortunately, it also seems that more people are being diagnosed with lupus, at least in our community."

Lupus has no cure and contributes to an earlier death. However, the cause of lupus continues to evade clinical researchers.

"Our study suggests that the increase in the incidence of lupus is associated with an increase in the racial and ethnic diversity in the community," continues Dr. Duarte Garcia. "However, the research community has yet to determine why non-white, non-Hispanic individuals seem to be at higher risk of lupus."

Read the rest of the article on the Advancing the Science blog.


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