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Do you understand lupus?

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    World Lupus Day, which takes place on May 10, is an opportunity to raise awareness of a disease which is sometimes poorly understood.

    Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or lupus) is a chronic autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by SLE can affect many different body systems including the skin, joints, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.

    Because the course of lupus can be highly variable, each patient has a unique experience of the disease.  Lupus affects approximately 5 million people worldwide with the majority being women of child-bearing age. The disease also takes an economic toll by increasing the use of healthcare resources and reducing ability to work.

    World Lupus Day was first observed 10 years ago in 2004 and features activities designed to heighten public awareness, improve patient healthcare services, and increase research into the causes, cures and prevalence of the disease.

    At UCB, we are committed to improving the lives of people living with lupus by researching and developing medicines.

    We also play our part in sharing scientific knowledge among health professionals with an interest in lupus. For example, UCB was one of the key sponsors of the 9th European Lupus Meeting which took place in Athens, Greece, last month (April 23rd-26th).

    The meeting was attended by a range of people with an interest in lupus, with delegates ranging from healthcare professionals and researchers, to people living with the disease and their carers.

    The programme included the best of basic science and clinical research; a scientific and educational programme addressing epidemiology, patient registries, genetics and new therapies; and patient-focused sessions on family planning, pregnancy and the needs of patients and carers.

    We remain strong supporters of research and patient advocacy in this area on World Lupus Day and every day.

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