May 10th marks World Lupus Day in support of 5 million sufferers worldwide
Key findings from the largest global public survey to be undertaken on awareness and attitudes about lupus are set to be announced on World Lupus Day 2017.
Lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is a chronic autoimmune disease which can damage virtually any part of the body, with debilitating health consequences, and is potentially fatal. It targets organs such as the kidney, heart, brain and lung as well as the skin and joints and even the blood system. Lupus develops in people of all ages, races and ethnicities but is more prevalent among some ethnic groups than others. It occurs across both males and females but women are predominantly afflicted. Common symptoms include achy joints (arthralgia), fluid accumulation, swollen joints (arthritis), unexplained fever, chest pain upon breathing deeply (pleurisy), hair loss, skin rash, mouth or nasal sores, seizures, sensitivity to light and extreme fatigue.
Lupus affects over 5 million people worldwide. Yet, across the 16 countries surveyed, there appears to be a clear lack of general public awareness and understanding of lupus as a disease often leading to stigma for those affected. This underpins the need for a day of global recognition, to highlight this little talked about condition.
World Lupus Day is sponsored by the World Lupus Federation, a global coalition of lupus patient groups. In addition to raising awareness, the organisation is driven to uphold an annual observance to call for the need for increased research into the causes of lupus, earlier diagnosis and treatment of lupus, and better epidemiological data on lupus globally.
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