Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease in which abnormal antibodies directed against healthy tissues and organs cause disease and damage. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many organ systems, including skin, joints, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.
Systemic lupus is a complex and heterogeneous disease, affecting people in different ways. For some, symptoms can be mild and limited — for others, it may cause severe disease and damage in critical organs and be life-threatening.
Most people with lupus have disease characterized by episodes or flares when signs and symptoms worsen for a while, then improve or even disappear completely for a time.
There are 340,000 patients diagnosed with SLE in the US and more than 200,000 in Europe.
For more information, refer to www.lupus.org