What Are the Risk Factors for Lupus Erythematosus

What Are the Risk Factors for Lupus Erythematosus?

• Gender. About 90% of lupus erythematosus patients are women of childbearing age. However, postmenopausal women have only a 2.5 times increased risk of the disease compared to men.

• Ultraviolet B. People whose skin turns red and swollen instead of darkening after sun exposure have a higher risk of lupus erythematosus.

• Family and genetics. Having a parent or sibling who has suffered from lupus erythematosus increases your risk. Gene mutations in human lymphocyte antigens, or HLAs, increase the incidence of lupus erythematosus. HLAs are responsible for differentiating self from nonself. Gene mutations of HLAs dismantle this defense mechanism, leading to immune cells erroneously attacking their own cells and tissues, causing lupus erythematosus.

• Thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura. Thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura is a rare genetic disease in children. Thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura is common in children who suffer from lupus erythematosus.

• Medications. More than 40 drugs—including hydrochlorothiazide- and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and the like—are known to increase the risk of lupus erythematosus.

• Viral infection. Viral infections—such as Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and parvovirus B-19—heighten the risk of lupus erythematosus.

• Chemicals. Crystalline silica and chlorinated pesticides are two known chemicals that may induce lupus erythematosus.