Women, who are afflicted with lupus, have a higher risk of suffering from hip fractures according to new research.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Thus lupus is considered an autoimmune disorder. In patients with an autoimmune disorder, the immune system can’t tell the difference between healthy body tissue and antigens it normally defends against.
Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems including damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs, reports the Mayo Clinic.
The condition can be difficult to diagnose as its symptoms mimic those of other ailments: fever, fatigue, skin lesions, and headaches, along with pain, stiffness and swelling of joints.
The most distinctive sign of lupus is a facial rash manifesting across the cheeks and nose. Some people can be born predisposed to develop lupus which can be triggered by infections sometime within their lifetime.
There is no cure for lupus – but treatment can aid in hampering the symptoms.
Research, led by Dr. Shu-Hung Wang – a rheumatology fellow at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital – and his colleagues evaluated nearly 15,000 adults with lupus, 90 percent of them women, reports MSN Health.
Subjected were followed over an average of six years in the longitudinal research, during which 75 patients suffered a hip fracture. Of those, 57 were cervical fractures of the hip while 18 were trochanteric fractures of the hip.
Hip fractures are bone-breaks in the uppermost quarter of the femur (thigh) bone. The extent of the break depends on the forces that are involved, and the type of surgery used to treat a hip fracture is primarily based on the bones and soft tissues affected.
Hip fractures commonly occur from a fall or from a direct blow to the side of the hip, but some medical conditions – such as osteoporosis and cancer – can weaken the bone and make the hip more susceptible to breaking. In severe cases, it is possible for the hip to break with the patient merely standing on the leg and twisting.
Having lupus, the researchers concluded, raised the risk for cervical fractures compared to the general population. And women with lupus were found to endure cervical fractures at younger ages.
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