Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease in which the immune system produces antibodies that attack healthy cells and tissue. This pain and damage. Lupus affects various parts of the body, especially the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys, producing a variety of symptoms; no two cases look exactly the same. Typically, extreme fatigue, headaches, swelling and chest pain are common. For most sufferers, lupus is a mild disease affecting only a few organs. For others, it may cause serious and even life-threatening problems.
Lupus appears in one of two forms: (1) Discoid lupus erythematosus (lupus vulgaris), which can be chronic but is less severe, may cause a red, scaly rash, usually on the face; (2) Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) is the most common and severe form of lupus.
Lupus affects women eight to ten times more frequently than men and often first appears in women of child-bearing years (ages 18 to 45). Women of colour (African-American, Native American, Asian and Hispanic) are affected more often than Caucasian women. Lupus also can affect children, the elderly and men. It is rare in children under 5 years; it more commonly affects teenagers but is still an uncommon condition for younger people. Rashes, kidney inflammation (nephritis) and joint inflammation are the most likely problems seen in children with SLE.
There are an estimated 500,000 to 1.5 million people in the USA with lupus. In Korea it is estimated that there are about 150,000 women and men suffering from the disease. However, there are only 100,000 that have been recognized/diagnosed. Other 50 thousand are either not treated or not diagnosed.