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Lupus is a chronic inflammatory connective tissue disorder that can involve joints, kidneys, mucous membranes, and blood vessel walls. About 90% of people who have lupus are young women in their late teens to 30s. Lupus occurs in all parts of the world but may be more common in blacks and in Asians. The cause of lupus is usually not known. Symptoms vary greatly from person to person. Symptoms may begin suddenly with fever, resembling an acute infection, or may develop gradually over months or years with episodes (called flare-ups) of fever, feeling unwell, migraine-type headaches, epilepsy, severe mental disorders (psychoses), joint symptoms, skin rashes, pain when breathing deeply, and chest pain.

Who is at Risk?

Lupus occurs primarily in women of childbearing age. If affects non-white women more frequently than white women. One study reported that smokers are almost seven times more likely to develop lupus than nonsmokers.

Sources: Merck, Aurora Health Care, A.D.A.M., Inc.

Recent Lupus Research and News at The Scripps Research Institute

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