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Public Lacks Awareness of Serious Disease With Life-Threatening Complications
Date:5/7/2009

trikes mostly young females, males and females of all ages can develop the disease.

What is most troubling about the lack of awareness of lupus is that early diagnosis and proper medical care often can help to prevent or reduce serious health complications, such as heart attacks, strokes, seizures, miscarriages, or kidney failure. That is why public recognition of lupus signs and symptoms is so important to the public -- awareness of lupus helps save lives.

Recently, the Ad Council launched its first-ever national public awareness campaign on lupus. The campaign is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health (OWH).

"The new Ad Council campaign addresses the critical need to raise awareness among the public about lupus, and ultimately increase early diagnosis to prevent the life-threatening consequences of lupus," said Sandra C. Raymond, LFA President and CEO. "We are pleased to be the founding partner with OWH and the Ad Council for this significant campaign."

The goal of the new campaign is to improve early diagnosis and treatment of lupus. The disease can be difficult to recognize for several reasons:

  • young people may assume that their health problems are temporary,
  • symptoms often come and go and change over time, and
  • initial symptoms of lupus often are dismissed as nothing serious.

More than half of the people with lupus suffer from symptoms for four or more years before they are diagnosed.

Early warning signs of lupus can include sudden and persistent joint and muscle pain, overwhelming fatigue, skin rashes on the face, scalp, and arms, hair loss, and persistent fevers. The new Ad Council campaign message, "Could I have lupus?" urges individuals who may be experiencing symptoms to ask their doctor about lupus. The LFA
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SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America
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