Health Matters

Shedding Light on Lupus

Oct. 27, 2015

Lupus is a challenging disease that requires a lifetime of management.  UR Medicine Lupus Clinic Director Dr. Jennifer Anolik answers five questions to help you learn more about lupus.

multi cultural group of young women

  1. Who gets lupus? About 90 percent of people diagnosed with lupus are women in their childbearing years—between the ages of 15 and 44. The risk doubles for women who are Asian, Hispanic and African American.
  2. What does it do? Lupus causes the immune system to attack healthy tissue. It can affect the entire body, including a person’s skin, joints, kidneys and blood.
  3. What are the signs? Symptoms may include fatigue, fever, weight loss, joint pain, skin rash, anemia and mouth ulcers.
  4. How is it detected? Lupus can be a challenge to diagnose because the symptoms aren’t specific to one disease. Examination by a doctor and a series of lab tests can pinpoint its presence.
  5. How is it treated? Most people with lupus can control it with medication and consistent monitoring in partnership with their doctors. A smaller set of patients suffer more serious symptoms and sometimes life-threatening problems.

Have more questions? Get answers at a free education program for people with lupus and their caregivers on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017.  Click here to learn more.


Jennifer Anolik


Jennifer Anolik, M.D., Ph.D., is director of the UR Medicine Lupus Clinic and Program and leads a busy research laboratory. University of Rochester Medical Center scientists and clinicians were elected to join the National Institutes of Health Accelerating Medicines Partnership in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus Network.