Systemic lupus erythematosus

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Systemic lupus erythematosus (pronounced /sɨˈstɛmɨk ˈluːpəs ˌɛrɨˌθiːməˈtoʊsəs/ ( listen), Lupus is often abbreviated to SLE or lupus, is a systemic autoimmune disease (or autoimmune connective tissue disease) that can affect any part of the body. As occurs in other autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks the body's cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage.[2] It is a Type III hypersensitivity reaction caused by antibody-immune complex formation.

SLE most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with periods of illness (called flares) alternating with remissions. The disease occurs nine times more often in women than in men, especially in women in child-bearing years ages 15 to 35, and is more common in those also of non-European descent.[3][4][5]

SLE is treatable through addressing its symptoms, mainly with cyclophosphamide, corticosteroids and immunosuppressants; there is currently no cure. SLE can be fatal, although with recent medical advances, fatalities are becoming increasingly rare. Survival for people with SLE in the United States, Canada, and Europe is approximately 95% at five years, 90% at 10 years, and 78% at 20 years.[5]

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