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Lupus

The Affects of Lupus

03/27/2003

Question:

I am in 5th grade in Quest, a gifted and talented program. I am working on an independent study project, and my topic is Lupus. An interview is required and I have chosen you to help answer some questions that I have. 1. Does Lupus affect children differently than adults? If so, please explain. 2. Does the stress from having Lupus make the disease worse? If so, why? 3. What happens to the mother if she has a child and also has a serious case of Lupus? (pregnant) Will the child contract it? Thank you for any help and information you can send my way about Lupus. I am interested in this topic also because my mother has been diagnosed with this disease. I would appreciate the answers to the email address found below by March 23rd.(this is our teacher`s school email address)

Answer:

Lupus affects children more severely than adults and as a result they tend to be sicker and die at an earlier age.

Lupus is a disease that is due to an overactive immune system. It has been suggested that stress can affect the immune system and hence, may indirectly cause lupus flares.

Babies of mothers with lupus can be born with a type of skin lupus that disappears within a few months of birth.  Rarely babies of mothers with lupus can be born with a heart condition that is permanent.  Since genes are thought to be important in the development of lupus, any family member of a lupus patient is at higher risk of developing the disease.  however the disease is not "contracted" from interaction with the lupus patient

For more information:

Go to the Lupus health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Anne-Barbara Mongey, MD
Formerly, Director, Arthritis Clinic, Univerity Hospital
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati