Lupus Organizations Issue International Call-to-Action to Combat Disease Affecting Five Million People

WASHINGTON, May 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Lupus Foundation of America joins a coalition of approximately 100 lupus organizations around the globe observing World Lupus Day on May 10. More than 1.5 million Americans and at least five million people worldwide face an unpredictable future as they struggle daily with the often-debilitating health consequences of the chronic autoimmune disease lupus.

Lupus is the result of an unbalanced immune system that can become destructive to any major organ or tissue in the body. The disease is unpredictable and potentially fatal, yet no satisfactory treatment or cure exists. Current treatments are immune-suppressing agents, which can have toxic side effects, increasing risks for infections and other bodily damage.

Facing the potential of strokes, heart attacks, seizures, disabling pain and fatigue, disfiguring skin rashes, and other serious health problems associated with the disease -- often in the prime years of life -- people with lupus around the world have issued a call-to-action seeking more research on lupus, safer and more effective treatments for the disease, and improved health care for those affected by lupus.

The Lupus Foundation of America urges all citizens to learn about the symptoms and health effects of this devastating disease. Visit the World Lupus Day Website at worldlupusday.org to learn more about lupus and its impact on individuals and families around the globe.

Early Detection and Diagnosis Key to Improving Survival and Quality of Life

While development of more safe and effective treatments is a top priority of the Lupus Foundation of America, increased awareness and patient education are important tools in combating the disease. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment can help to slow or prevent the debilitating effects of the disease. Improving awareness of lupus symptoms will save lives.

About Lupus

Lupus primarily strikes women between the ages of 15 and 44, although males and females of any age can develop lupus. The disease can take years to diagnose because its primary symptoms - joint pain, fatigue, skin rashes, and fevers - mimic common illnesses. Lupus spares no organ - every part of the body can be affected by lupus, including the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys and brain. The Lupus Foundation of America offers free information about the disease. Call 888-38-LUPUS or go online to lupus.org.

SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America

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