For People with Lupus Nephritis, Risk of Kidney Complications Rises as Income Level Falls
A newly published study shows a form of kidney disease known as “glomerular disease” is increasingly common at lower socioeconomic levels among people with the lupus-related kidney disease lupus nephritis (LN). Glomerular disease is a potentially life-threatening issue in which the kidneys’ ability to properly filter blood is impaired, leading to potential kidney failure.
Researchers analyzed kidney biopsies from more than 2,000 people from a kidney pathology database in Canada, which included subsets of patients with different types of kidney disease, including 389 people with LN. They then measured rates of glomerular disease among people with LN at different household income ranges. In both men and women with LN, rates of glomerular disease steadily increased as household income range decreased. Women with LN at lower income levels appeared to be especially affected with 70% higher rates of glomerular disease in the lowest socioeconomic group compared to women in the highest income group.
These findings suggest people with LN in lower socioeconomic groups may be at greater risk of developing complications like glomerular disease. Lower socioeconomic positioning is associated with less social support and reduced access to care, important factors for rare diseases like lupus that require highly specialized treatment and a strong support network. That’s why the Lupus Foundation of America strives to connect people living with lupus and their caregivers to local support resources. Find support near you.