New research shows older people with lupus at greater risk for organ damage

Older age, high blood pressure and taking corticosteroids are the most important risk factors for organ damage among lupus patients according to a new study published in the professional medical journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.  Lead author Michele Petri, MD, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and colleagues reported that patients diagnosed at 70 or older were three times as likely of developing organ damage compared with patients under 40. But the most important finding was the link between treatment with corticosteroids to organ damage, which can include osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, and stroke.