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Lupus

New Lupus Dx in Sr.

10/13/2004

Question:

My mother was just diagnosed with lupus at the age of 78. Isn`t this kind of late for the onset of lupus? What does this mean and why did she just get it now? She has always been in excellent health before this. Could the blood tests possibly be wrong?

Answer:

Lupus can occur at any age although it most commonly affects women of child bearing age. We do not know the cause for lupus and what precipitates it. Blood tests are helpful in making the diagnosis - as with any blood test there is the possibility of lab error or that the result may represent a non specific finding. I cannot comment on your mother's case since I have not evaluated her. You should discuss your concerns with the physician who made the diagnosis.

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Response by:

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