Lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus, is an autoimmune condition that affects different parts of the body. One of the first questions that come to the mind of people diagnosed with this condition is, “Can you die from lupus?”. In the past, the answer to this question was yes. However, due to the advancements in medicine, most people suffering from lupus can now expect a normal lifespan. In this article, we will explore how lupus affects lifespan; read on to know more about this.
How Does Lupus Affect Your Lifespan?
You must know that lupus is an autoimmune disorder that cannot be cured permanently. Nowadays, people with this disease survive 10 years or more when compared to the past. For example, in 1955, only 50% of the people diagnosed with lupus lived for more than four years.
Listed below are the main reasons for the improvement in the survival rate of people diagnosed with lupus:
- Earlier diagnosis
- Improvement in the classification of patients with different stages of lupus
- Survival statistics began to include milder cases
- The use of aggressive treatments like the use of cytotoxic or immunosuppressive agents
- Advanced treatments for complications like renal failure, hypertension, and infections.
How Lupus Damages Your Body?
Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues of the body. This results in symptoms like pain, inflammation, organ damage, and other symptoms depending on the part of the body affected by it. For example, lupus nephritis is a serious condition that affects the kidneys
Listed below are the organs damaged by lupus:
- Blood vessels
Is Lupus Fatal?
In the past, kidney failure was one of the major reasons for mortality due to lupus. Nowadays, this is reduced because of advancements in treatments. Today, when the lifespan of someone is shortened due to lupus, it is because of the long-term complications of this disease.
Surveys show that a third of lupus death is due to active cases. Two-thirds of lupus deaths are due to complications from the disease or the treatments using immunosuppressants and corticosteroids. Remember that even though aggressive treatments prolong the life of patients, it eventually takes a toll on their health. Finally, patients with severe systemic lupus erythematosus generally have a shorter lifespan. This can be from complications due to the disease and aggressive treatment methods.