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Health Protocols

Lupus: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

Epidemiology

The population most affected by lupus is women of childbearing age—that is, women between the ages of 15 and 44 years-of-age.1 Lupus is also more likely to develop in African-American, Asian American, Native American, and Latina women compared with Caucasian women.6 However, it is possible for lupus to develop in people of any age group, race, or either gender.

Women with lupus are more likely to have high-risk pregnancies than those without this chronic disease. One study found that these women have a 3- to 7- fold greater risk of developing low platelet levels (thrombocytopenia), infection, and developing blood clots (thrombosis).7 Women who experience a "flare" within six months of conception are much more likely to experience complications during the pregnancy affecting the mothers’ health. Additionally, the fetuses and neonates of individuals who experience a flare during pregnancy are more likely to have complications.8 Consequently, doctors generally advise women with lupus to plan pregnancies after 12 to 18 months of remission, and definitely not before six months of remission.9

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