Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body, including skin, joints, and organs inside the body. Although Lupus is most commonly diagnosed in people under the age of 45, 15 percent of people with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) develop it later in life after age 55. This is referred to as late-onset Lupus. Check out these facts and stats about Lupus and senior citizens.
Symptoms can include arthritis, fever, serositis, muscle aches, neuropsychiatric symptoms, Reynaud’s Syndrome, and lung disease.
Senior women are eight times more likely to develop the disease than senior men.
Lupus is underdiagnosed and often misdiagnosed in seniors, mainly because the symptoms are mistaken for other age-related ailments, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Caregivers should be aware that stress and overexposure to sunlight can trigger symptoms of the disease.
Osteoporosis is one of the most common side effects of late-onset lupus, and many of the medications that are taken for lupus, such as prednisone, may also lead to osteoporosis.