By Rob Mitchum, Science Life
As discussed yesterday, lupus is not an equal-opportunity disease. Ninety percent of lupus cases occur in women, the disease is three times more likely to affect African-American women than Caucasian women, and lupus is more common and severe in other minority populations as well. Given that the general cause of lupus remains unknown, the reason for these discrepancies is also mysterious. But a grant from the Lupus Research Institute recently awarded to Timothy Niewold, assistant professor of rheumatology at the University of Chicago Medical Center, hopes to turn the focus of science to this issue, looking for genetic factors that may explain why minority women are more seriously afflicted by lupus.