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Lupus patients: The doctor, nurse and social worker are here to see you
Date:11/9/2010

tissue damage. The disease is unpredictable and periods of illness follow periods of remission with barely a warning that skin, heart, joints, lungs or other parts of the body are being harmed. Nine out of ten patients with lupus are female and the disease can affect virtually any organ system in the body, including the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems.

The Mary Kirkland Center is an ideal place for research coordinators to recruit patients for clinical studies, Ms. Persad noted. She stressed that, while participating in research studies that place a focus on the disease can be daunting, the patients know and trust the staff well enough that they are comfortable getting involved.

The Mary Kirkland Center also instituted a formalized educational experience for professionals. Physicians attend lectures focused on lupus and related conditions so that they are able to understand "lupus from the perspective of other specialties," according to Ms. Persad. Rheumatologists specializing in lupus care play an integral part in these lectures and in lupus case conferences.

One program that has benefitted from the multidisciplinary nature of the Center is the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Counseling Program, available free-of-charge to all patients. Since lupus patients are at increased risk for cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke, it is important to consistently monitor cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure. "Focusing on and addressing cardiovascular health and wellness makes a huge, positive impact in patients with lupus," said Dr. Erkan. "We're optimistic from our past successes that we can help push lupus symptoms into the backgroundliterally and figurativelywhen there are more pressing things on the minds of our patients."


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Contact: Phyllis Fisher
phyllis.fisher@gmail.com
212-606-1197
Hospital for Special Surgery
Source:Eurekalert

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