Lupus in Women
Women with lupus may have a higher risk of developing certain other health issues. The following conditions are often seen earlier in women with lupus:
- Heart disease: Women with lupus are 50 times more likely than others of the same age to have a heart attack or chest pain, according to the U.S. Office on Women’s Health.
- Osteoporosis: Women with lupus experience more bone loss and fractures than other women.
- Kidney disease: About 90 percent of people with lupus will have some type of kidney damage, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Yet only 2 to 3 percent of people with lupus develop severe kidney disease that requires treatment.
Because lupus is more common in women during their childbearing years, experts are researching the role hormones like estrogen might play in the development of the disease.
Lupus and Pregnancy
Women with lupus can have successful pregnancies. But the disease does raise the risk of developing certain complications, such as miscarriage, preterm birth, and preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy). Most doctors recommend delaying pregnancy until your lupus has been under control for at least six months.
Lupus in Men
While lupus is sometimes considered a “woman’s disease,” men can develop it, too. In fact, in people under age 18 and over age 50, as many men as women have lupus, according to the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation. Some doctors have limited experience in diagnosing and treating men with lupus. Be sure to find a doctor who can effectively treat your disease.