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What is systemic lupus erythematosus?

Lisa Davis, MPH
Administration Specialist

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder that may affect the joints, skin, brain, kidneys and other organs. When someone has an autoimmune disease, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. This is what happens with SLE. When the body's tissues are attacked, inflammation takes place.

SLE is much more common in women than men.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common form of lupus as well as the most severe type of lupus. It is an autoimmune disorder that develops antibodies to attack good tissues in the body. This results in inflammation and complications for the organs, blood vessels, skin and joints. SLE is the most severe form of lupus because it has the largest number of symptoms and is a permanent condition.

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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.