The first-ever World Lupus Day observance will occur on Monday, May
10, 2004, to coincide with the 7th International Congress on Systemic
Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and
Related Conditions. World Lupus Day will focus on the need for
improved patient healthcare service, increased research into the
causes of and a cure for lupus, enhanced physician diagnosis and
treatment of lupus, and better epidemiological data on lupus globally.
Lupus is three times more common in black women than in white women.
It is also more common in women of Hispanic/Latina, Asian, and
American Indian descent. Black and Hispanic/Latina women tend to
develop symptoms at an earlier age than other women. African Americans
have more severe organ problems, especially with their kidneys.
Between 1979 and 1998, death rates from SLE increased nearly
70% among black women between the ages of 45 and 64 years. Possible
reasons include an increasing incidence of SLE, later diagnosis, less
access to health care, less-effective treatments, and poorer
compliance with treatment recommendations. Each year during the study
period, death rates were more than five times higher for women than
for men and more than three times higher for blacks than for whites.