May is Lupus Awareness Month, so we would like to share some facts about Lupus. It is estimated that at least five million people are affected by Lupus (or another form of it) worldwide. Systemic Lupus is responsible for 70% of Lupus cases, with half of those cases involving effects to a major organ like the heart and kidneys. Another 10% of cases are Cutaneous Lupus, which only affects the skin.
There is also 10% of Lupus cases where the disease is caused by high medication doses, which is known as drug-induced Lupus.
Symptoms will usually dwindle when medication is discontinued, and similar symptoms are shared by drug-induced Lupus and systemic Lupus. In just about 10 percent of cases, people afflicted with Lupus will have symptoms of other connective tissue diseases. Terms like “overlap syndrome” and “mixed connective tissue disease” has been used in the medical field to describe the disease.
Causes of Lupus are practically unexplainable. There have been no known causes discovered, but Lupus is an autoimmune disease, and could be attributed to genetics, as 20 percent of people will have parents or siblings that will or already have developed Lupus. Also, although Lupus can develop with both males and females, a staggering 90 percent of people diagnosed with Lupus or a form of the disease are women. Most people who will develop Lupus will develop the disease between the ages of 15 and 44. 20 Percent of Lupus patients have had a parent who has Lupus, or have a parent that has the possibility of developing the disease.
While the exact number of cases are difficult to put an exact amount on, as are the fatal cases of the disease, the financial numbers are easier to present. The average annual direct healthcare cost of a Lupus patient in $12,643. It was also estimated that the amount of lost pay as a result of the disease was around $8,659, meaning the total cost of employment age Lupus patients’ total annual cost was roughly $20,924. Two of three Lupus patients were not able to work due to complications with Lupus and thus lost their income.
An LFA (Lupus Foundation of America) survey showed that four out of ten Lupus patients are treated by more than three Doctors, and are taking more than six medications to treat the symptoms of the disease. Another study found that 78% of Lupus patients are coping well with their diagnosis, and that 65% of patients cited pain as the most difficult part of coping with Lupus, while 61% felt that their changes of lifestyle were the hardest part, with 50% stated that the most difficult part of coping was the emotional pain that comes with their diagnosis as their largest obstacle.
Show your support for loved ones living with Lupus by wearing the purple ribbon during awareness month, or anytime! Shop our selection of Lupus Awareness T-shirts and Gifts and help spread awareness!