Announcements for 2003

July 2003 (historical)

¿Tengo Lupus? / Do I Have Lupus?

¿Tengo Lupus? / Do I Have Lupus?, a new, free, bilingual booklet in Spanish and English on the autoimmune disease lupus, is now available from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).

Lupus is a chronic disorder that is often difficult to diagnose. Common symptoms include extreme fatigue, painful or swollen joints, unexplained fever and skin rashes. It also can cause failure in major organs that include the kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels and brain.

The booklet, part of the NIAMS' effort to reduce health disparities in rheumatic diseases among racial and ethnic minorities, features an easy-to-read format that includes information on diagnosis, treatments and the future of research. It aims to help new lupus patients, people at risk of developing lupus and their family members to cope with the symptoms and the stress associated with the disease. The large print, illustrations and a symptom checklist included in the booklet make this an excellent tool for health professionals working with patients from diverse backgrounds-particularly those with limited English proficiency and/or visual impairments.

Lupus is more prevalent and severe in minorities, and 9 out of 10 people with lupus are women. Because the disease can be difficult to diagnose, a Hispanic/Latino woman's symptoms could be more severe, and her mortality risk higher, when the diagnosis is finally made. Other minority women are affected as well: lupus is three times more common in African American women than in Caucasian women. It is also more common in women of Asian and Native American descent.

You can access the booklet on the Web at: www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Lupus/do_i_have_lupus.asp, or by calling free of charge the NIAMS Clearinghouse at 1-877-22-NIAMS (226-4267). The NIAMS is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health, the leading Federal agency in biomedical and behavioral research.

For additional information about lupus, you can contact: the Arthritis Foundation at 404-872-7100, the Lupus Foundation of America at 202-349-1155, and the Lupus Foundation of Greater Washington at 703-644-0058.