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European Ancestry and Severity in Systemic Lupus

By Elaine Moore on 10/6/2008

In a report presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology, Dr. Lindsey Criswell and her colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco have identified an association between disease severity in lupus and European ancestry. This association was based on results of a study they conducted involving 1,270 patients of European ancestry. The researchers found that Southern European ancestry is associated with more severe manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) such as lupus nephritis  and increased production of specific lupus autoantibodies. In contrast, Northern European ancestry was shown to be positively associated with photosensitivity (light sensitivity) and discoid rash, which are considered mild manifestations of SLE. Patients of Northern European ancestry were much less likely to have antinuclear antibodies (ANA), anticardiolipin antibodies, arthritis, and kidney disease. The value of the study is in helping to identify risk factors, which can help in selecting the most appropriate course of therapy for managing symptoms. Source: Annual European Congress of Rheumatology Press Release, June, 2008.

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