What is lupus in children?


Lupus is a chronic autoimmune condition affecting the joints, skin, and internal organs.Lupus affects about 10,000 children in the U.S., and almost 90% of sufferers are female. Researchers have suggested the disease may have to do with the hormone estrogen, and that may be why more females are affected. Lupus strikes African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans more often than Caucasians. In a normal immune system, the body creates antibodies that protect against virus and infection. When the immune system is compromised, like it is with lupus, these same antibodies mistakenly attack healthy tissue, causing a chronic, debilitating condition.

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

More About this Book

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Lupus is a disease in which your immune system attacks your body's own tissues. This is called an autoimmune disorder, and can be compared to the idea of "friendly fire." Lupus causes inflammation in your body's organs and can cause permanent scarring that ultimately jeopardizes the function of certain organs and systems in your body.

The lupus that occurs in children affects the body in the same way as adult lupus. Boys are more likely to get childhood lupus than men are likely to get adult lupus. Usually, childhood lupus affects certain organs, like the kidneys, to a greater degree. The incidence of kidney disease in childhood lupus is about two times greater than in adult lupus. Childhood lupus generally requires more aggressive therapy than adult lupus.

Continue Learning about Lupus



Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease, which occurs when your body's immune system attacks your own organs and tissues. Lupus is more common in women, blacks, Hispanics and Asians and often is diagnosed between the ages of 15 an...

d 40. Learn more about Lupus from our experts.

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.