New Data Underscores Lupus Diagnosis and Disease Outcomes Skew Along Racial and Ethnic Lines
A recent review study underscores how health disparities are experienced along racial and ethnic lines within the lupus community across the U.S. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Lupus Registries demonstrate that people of color are more vulnerable to both systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and primary cutaneous lupus. What’s more, racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to develop serious health complications following SLE diagnosis.
Genetic and socioeconomic factors do not fully explain racial disparities in SLE outcomes. Emerging research suggests that psychosocial variables (social support, social environment, etc.) and healthcare system factors, have a significant influence on lupus health disparities. Childhood trauma, racial discrimination, depression, and poor access to quality clinical are all possible contributors to racial and ethnic health discrepancies in lupus.
The review was led by Cristina Drenkard, MD, PhD, Emory University School of Medicine professor and mentor to a 2019 LFA Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship awardee, and S. Sam Lim, MD, MPH, and Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) Medical-Scientific Advisory Council member. Drenkard explains, “This review provides new insight into the social and healthcare system factors that shape outcomes in lupus minorities. Upcoming studies addressing causal pathways, biologic mechanisms, and mitigating factors will be critical in solving the problem of lupus health disparities in the U.S. and worldwide.”
Learn more about the LFA’s work with the Office of Minority Health and its programs facilitating and promoting minority enrollment in lupus clinical trials.