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Lupus

Is Lupus hereditary?

10/23/2000

Question:

My mother was diagnosed with Lupus when she was in her early twenties. She has been sick with the disease all through her lifetime, and now worries that I may inherit the disease. Doctors have insured her that Lupus is not hereditary, yet we both still worry. More and more I present symptoms of the disease, but my tests are still negative. Is it possible that I may too get the disease??

Answer:

There is less than 25% chance that daughters of patients with SLE will develop SLE or related autoimmune disease. It is currently believed that many genes (may be more than 10) collude with certain so far unknown triggers in our environment to cause lupus. Besides, it appears from research in mice that develop lupus similar to humans who develop lupus that there are some `good` genes that prevent the occurrence of lupus or lupus-like disease. So, the occurrence of disease in the next generation qppears to depend on how many `disease-causing` genes one receives from the affected parent and how many `good` genes come from the unaffected parent.

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Response by:

Ram Raj   Singh, MD Ram Raj Singh, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati