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What increases my risk for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Age, gender and race are the primary risk factors for SLE. Systemic lupus erythematosus is more common in women and usually develops between the ages of 15 and 40. Asians, African Americans and Hispanics are more vulnerable to this disease than other races.

Exposure to certain prescription drugs, such as the antipsychotic drug chlorpromazine, may increase your risk of developing systemic lupus erythematosus if genetic factors are present. Those who have been infected with the common Epstein-Barr virus seem to develop SLE more often. Exposure to toxic chemicals, including those found in cigarettes, can increase your chances of developing SLE. Exposure to UV rays can trigger outbreaks of SLE in some people.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.