CAUSE OF LUPUS
The cause(s) of lupus is unknown, but there are environmental and genetic factors involved. While scientists believe there is a genetic predisposition to the disease, it is known that environmental factors also play a critical role in triggering lupus. Some of the environmental factors that may trigger the disease are: infections, antibiotics (especially those in the sulfa and penicillin groups), ultraviolet light, extreme stress, certain drugs, and hormones.
Although lupus is known to occur within families, there is no known gene or genes which are thought to cause the illness. There are recent discoveries of a gene on chromosome 1 which is associated with lupus in certain families. Previously, genes on chromosome 6 called "immune response genes" were also associated with the disease. Only 10 percent of lupus patients will have a close relative (parent or sibling) who already has or may develop lupus. Statistics show that only about 5% of the children born to individuals with lupus will develop the illness.
Approved by the Lupus Foundation of America's
Patient Education Committee.