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Lupus

LUPUS

02/28/2002

Question:

HOW DO YOU GET lUPUS?

Answer:

Lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE, is not a contagious disease - you cannot catch it from someone who has the disease. We do not know what causes the disease, in most cases. Some patients have a strong family history of lupus; that is, several close relatives who have the disease. These patients probably have an inherited tendency to develop lupus, but the precise genes that increase the likelihood of developing lupus are still being identified. Some drugs increase the risk of developing lupus. The two most common drugs that do this are hydralazine, which is used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, and procainamide, which is used to treat a type of heart disease.

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Response by:

Fred Finkelman, MD
Director, Division of Immunology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati