Test (article): What causes lupus?
Many (but not all) scientists believe that lupus develops in response to a combination of factors both inside and outside the body, including hormones, genetics, and environment.
Hormones are the body’s messengers. They regulate many of the body’s functions. Because nine of every 10 occurrences of lupus are in females, researchers have looked at the relationship between estrogen and lupus.
Researchers have now identified more than 50 genes which they associate with lupus. These genes are more commonly seen in people with lupus than in those without the disease, and while most of these genes have not been shown to cause lupus, they are believed to contribute to it.
In most cases, genes are not enough. This is especially evident with twins who are raised in the same environment and have the same inherited features yet only one develops lupus. Although, when one of two identical twins has lupus, there is an increased chance that the other twin will also develop the disease (30% percent chance for identical twins; 5-10% percent chance for fraternal twins).
Lupus can develop in people with no family history of it, but there are likely to be other autoimmune diseases in some family members.
Certain ethnic groups (people of African, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Island descent) have a greater risk of developing lupus, which may be related to genes they have in common.