Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Systemic lupus erythematosus can affect individuals of every age. The usual age is between 15 and 40 years but can present in the sixth decade and older, and the clinical course and manifestations differ from that seen in persons whose disease onset is in the second–fourth decades. SLE is an autoimmune disorder characterised by multisystem involvement. Autoimmunity in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is brought about in all probability by a disorder, primary to the T cell, and is expressed as an abnormal immunological response to self-antigen. In the elderly with SLE, the female/male ratio is 2:1, and 10–20% of the cases occur in the elderly. The common manifestations in the elderly at onset are non-specific and include myalgia, weakness, fatigue, fever weight loss and arthralgia. The late onset displays a distinct antibody profile. Anti-DNA antibodies, anti-RNP antibodies and anti-Smith antibodies occur less frequently.
KeywordsSystemic lupus erythematosus Autoimmunity Late-onset SLE Immunosuppressive agents
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