Hope Foundation - Creating an awareness of Lupus, Sickle Cell and Arthritis

Is lupus a fatal disease?

Lupus is not a universally fatal disease. In fact, today with close follow-up and treatment, 80-90% of the people with lupus can expect to live a normal life span. Lupus does vary in intensity and degree, however, and there are people who have a mild case, there are those who have a moderate case and there are some who have a severe case of lupus, which tends to be more difficult to treat and bring under control. For people who have a severe flare-up, there is a greater chance that their lupus may be life-threatening. We know that some people do die of this disease and because of that we have a tremendous amount of respect for the potential of this disease. However, the majority of people living with lupus today can expect to live a normal lifespan.

People frequently read in the literature that, 80-90% of people with lupus live for more than ten years. Unfortunately, this is often misinterpreted as- people with lupus live for only ten years. Let us clarify this.

It is important to understand that the "10 years" does not represent the number of years the person will live, but rather the number of years involved in the study. The studies followed patients with lupus from the time of diagnosis for a period of ten years. At the end of this research period they were able to conclude that 80-90% of the people enrolled were still alive. What this study did not look at is what happened in year 11, 12, 15, 20 and so on. We know there are many people who have been living with lupus for 15, 19, 25, 30 and 40 years. This is not a disease that is universally fatal to all. The majority of people with lupus today can expect to live a normal lifespan.

About Lupus

  • What is lupus? +

    Lupus is a chronic (long-lasting) autoimmune disease in which the immune system, for unknown reasons, becomes hyperactive and attacks normal Read More
  • What does autoimmune mean? +

    Literally it means immune activity directed against the self. The immune system fights the body itself (Auto=self). In autoimmune diseases, the Read More
  • What is inflammation +

    Literally it means setting on fire. It is a protective process our body uses when tissues are injured. Inflammation helps Read More
  • What happens in autoimmune diseases like lupus? +

    The immune system is designed to protect and defend the body from foreign intruders (bacteria, viruses). You can think of Read More
  • Where did the name come from? +

    Lupus is the Latin word for wolf. The term has been associated with the disease since the 10th century, though Read More
  • Who gets lupus? +

    Lupus can occur at any age, and in either sex. Nine out of ten people with lupus are women. During Read More
  • What are the symptoms of lupus? +

    Symptoms of lupus vary widely depending on the individual case and the form of lupus present. Most people with lupus Read More
  • Are there different kinds of lupus +

    There are three types of lupus: including: Discoid or Cutaneous lupus erythematosus affects the skin and hair Systemic lupus erythematosus Read More
  • Lupus in Overlap +

    The majority of people with lupus have lupus alone. Between five and thirty percent of people with lupus report having Read More
  • Is lupus contagious? +

    No, not even through sexual contact. Read More
  • Is lupus a fatal disease? +

    Lupus is not a universally fatal disease. In fact, today with close follow-up and treatment, 80-90% of the people with Read More
  • When people die of lupus, what do they usually die of? +

    Overwhelming infection and kidney failure are the two most common causes of death in people with lupus. Read More
  • Is lupus a form of cancer? +

    No, lupus is not a form of cancer. It is an autoimmune disease. Read More
  • Are people with lupus more likely to develop cancers? +

    People with lupus are no more likely to develop cancer than are people in the general population. However, people who Read More
  • Are there any special considerations regarding treatment of cancer in people with lupus? +

    Cancer can be treated in many ways; with surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. All people with lupus who have surgery for Read More
  • Is lupus like AIDS? +

    No. In AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) the immune system is under active; it is deficient. In lupus the immune Read More
  • My child has lupus. What is the prognosis? +

    The prognosis for children and adolescents with systemic lupus has improved dramatically over the past twenty years. With modern therapy, Read More
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Tel: (246) 437-8781
Email: hope@caribsurf.com