African American Women More Vulnerable To Lupus

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Genetic variants of lupus found
Researchers from the Slone Epidemiology Center of Boston University have found that African American women run a higher risk of contracting lupus. This disease is a deadly health issue that strikes thousands of women all over the world. It is characterized by the cells of the body turning against each other. As a result, healthy tissues and vital organs such as heart and kidney are damaged. In severe cases, it also leads to premature mortlity. Four genetic variants have been newly found that have shown ability to kick start systematic lupus erythemathosus. The variants have been found in the major histocompatibility complex, better known as MHC. This study holds the distinction of being the first study that reveals details about the relation between incidence of lupus and MHC genetic variants.

The study and insight into lupus can protect women from this disease. Lupus is a condition that is characterized by damage to the kidneys, skin and major joints. The major symptoms of the disease are muscle aches, fever, exhaustion, anemia, rashes on the skin, hair loss, increased sensitivity to sun and pain in the chest. Any incidence of these symptoms or minor symptoms like severe headaches and dizzy spells need immediate attention.

The study

For the study, the team of researchers considered 59,000 African American women. All these women have been under observation since 1995. Conclusions of the study were drawn based on continuous monitoring of these women. Different factors were considered in the study for drawing accurate conclusions. The study group consisted of African Americans since the risk of lupus is higher in their genetic profile by almost three times when compared to Asians or Europeans. In addition, African Americans tend to develop the problem at a younger age. The study also suggested a possible connection in the genetic profile of women belonging to different continents.

Results of the study

During the study, scientists were able to genotype over 1500 variants SNP in about 400 cases of lupus. The increased risk of lupus was related to four SNP among the fifteen hundred. The four single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) are being studied further. It was found that the risk of contacting lupus was up by over 70% for every variant.  The study took into consideration the fact that several autoimmune diseases are related to MCH area of chromosome 6.