Risk Factors of Lupus
Risk factors that increase the development of lupus
1. Sex and age.
Women are 10 times more likely to develop lupus. Almost one in 2,500 women lives with lupus symptoms. Lupus is not as rare as some women may think. Women usually develop lupus between pre-menopause and menopause. Although, some women between the ages of 20-40 can also develop lupus. It seems lupus is milder if it develops after the menopausal years. Lupus occurrences are rare in men. Only one in 25,000 men lives with lupus symptoms. There is no general age guideline for men as to when they develop lupus. Between 20-25% of all lupus cases reported are children. Girls are 3-7 times more susceptible to lupus than boys are.
Those of West Indian origin are especially likely to develop lupus. For instance, one in 250 Jamaican women develops lupus. One in 1,000 women from India and Pakistan develops lupus. One in 2,500 white European Caucasians develops lupus. Black American women are three times likely to develop lupus than white American women are.
There is belief that lupus tends to run in families. Inherited factors called HLA types make a person more susceptible to develop lupus.
4. Hormonal factors.
This may explain why girls and women (menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause) develop lupus more than men.
5. Environmental factors.
Though not clearly understood, environmental factors seem to contribute to increase the development of lupus.
Smoking increases the risk for lupus. Smoking increases the risk of pneumonia and bronchitis. Even passive or secondhand smoking contributes to this risk. Smoking increases the risk for coronary artery disease. Smoking and lupus make for a double blow for patients.
7. Neo-natal lupus.
If the mother has lupus and the anti-Ro antibody, the baby is more likely to develop lupus.
8. Childhood infections.
Exposure to fewer infectious diseases increases the risk for lupus. Though not completely confirmed, it appears the fewer childhood infectious diseases you are in contact with, the greater your percentage of developing lupus.
9. Silica dust exposure.
Exposure to silica dust leads to increased risk of lupus and other autoimmune diseases.
10. Certain drugs.
Drugs like hydralazine and procainamid are used to treat heart conditions and isoniazid drugs which are used to treat tuberculosis can cause lupus.
Potential risk factors of lupus patients
Lupus patients are at risk for several substantial medical complications, such as: Angina or coronary heart disease. Atherosclerosis or hardening of the blood vessels can lead to angina or coronary heart disease. Diabetes goes hand-in-hand with obesity, and the two cultivate the perfect scenario for lupus development. Heart disease is a complication of lupus because lupus affects the heart and lungs. High cholesterol levels are often associated with lupus symptoms. Hypertension symptoms are commonly associated with lupus. Obesity goes hand-in-hand with diabetes, and the two cultivate the perfect stage for lupus development.
How to live with the risk factors of lupus
Knowledge and awareness are two advantages you have on your side now. Learn all you can about lupus so you can better address your risk factors and symptoms.