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Systemic lupus erythematosus is a multi-system autoimmune disease that may affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain. Normally the body makes antibodies to protect itself against bacteria, viruses and other foreign matter. With an autoimmune disease such a lupus the body can not distinguish between these harmful cells and its own cells. The body ultimately makes antibodies directed at itself. Although there is currently no cure, lupus can be successfully treated in most, though not all, cases. Many more women than men are affected, and African-American women are particularly vulnerable.

Internet Resources

MedlinePlus: Lupus
Developed at the National Library of Medicine specifically for health care consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information targeting the lay public. An interactive tutorial, in either Spanish or English, is also available.

Lupus Foundation of America
This web site provides a variety of information about all aspects of lupus, including diagnosis, treatment, research, and complementary and alternative medicine therapies.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculorskelatal and Skin Diseases
This site offers a basic fact sheet about Lupus and the many questions surrounding the disease. It also references valuable journal articles about the topic and has link for locating clinical trials.


  • Lupus: A patient’s guide for diagnosis, treatment, and everyday living. Quintero A. 2007.
  • Diagnosis—Lupus: The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient. Morris MC. 2005.
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Longe JL, ed. 2006. Available in print at the Health Learning Center or electronically at  http://www.nmh.org/nm/health library virtual library .
  • Living with lupus. Pigache P. 2005.
  • Taking Charge of Lupus: How to Manage the Disease and Make the Most of Your Life. Pratt M. 2002.


  • “Moving towards a cure: blocking pathogenic antibodies in systemic lupus erythematosis.” Diamond B. Journal of Internal Medicine. 269(1):36-44. Jan. 2011
  • “Researchers identify new lupus genes.” Health News 14(5): 6–7. 2008.
  • “Exploring new territory: The move towards individualized treatment.” Lupus 16(3):227–231. 2007.
  • “Exploring new territory: Considering the future." Lupus 16(3):227–231. 2007.
  • “Systemic lupus erythematosus and exercise.” Lupus 16(1):5–9. 2007.


Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.
E-mail: info@lupus.org
Phone: 800-558-0121 (Para información en español, 1-800-558-0231.)

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the  Health Learning Center  at 312-926-5465 or HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateApril 23, 2012