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Raising awareness of lupus

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    Lupus is a serious, life-altering autoimmune disease that can affect many organs of the body. It is a disease which remains under-recognised and its impact is often under-estimated.

    That is what makes World Lupus Day (May 10th) so important. This date was set several years ago following agreement by representatives of lupus organisations from 13 different nations.

    It is an opportunity to raise awareness of the symptoms of the disease and its impact on people living with lupus. Awareness events for World Lupus Day are held on most continents of the world including, North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

    Lupus patient advocates are calling for improved patient healthcare services, increased research into the causes of and a cure for lupus, enhanced physician diagnosis and treatment of lupus, and better epidemiological data on lupus globally.

    What is lupus?
    Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or lupus) 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.

    Lupus has a major impact on the lives of those directly affected, as well as on their families and their wider communities. The disease also takes an economic toll by increasing the use of healthcare resources and reducing ability to work.

    It is estimated that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of SLE, the majority of whom are women aged 15-44. The disease is 10 times more common in women than men, and 2 to 3 times more common in those of African and Asian descent than in Caucasian populations.

    UCB is inspired by the commitment shown by lupus patient advocates and continues to work towards improving the lives of those affected by this severe disease.

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