May is Lupus Awareness Month, and National Women’s Health week is coming up during the week that starts on Mother’s Day, May 8th, 2011. [Please see 2012 update note below.] Women’s Health Week is a project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. Their page has state specific information about various health screenings and community activities promoting women’s health issues during that week and all through the month of May.
Lupus is a significant women’s health issue! Lupus Awareness Month, and the upcoming week focused on women’s health issues merits sharing some timely information about the incidence and prevalence of lupus.
The following charts include some thought-provoking information, and demonstrate that lupus very unfairly discriminates by gender and racial heritage.
The Lupus Foundation of America website is my data source for the charts, where it indicates that “Lupus is two to three times more prevalent among people of color, including African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans.” Unfortunately, the highest lupus incidence and mortality rates are among elderly black women.
If we have not seen our rheumatologist recently, or are due to have blood tests or other important check ups, the month of May would be a great time to do it.
[2012 Update Note: This post from last year continues to get a lot of traffic every week, even one year after posting it in May, 2011. The 2012 efforts for Lupus Awareness Week and National Women’s Health Week are underway now in April 2012. Please check out the current Lupus Foundation of America’s Lupus Awareness Month page and updated 2012 information about National Women’s Health Week May 13 – 19, 2012. You can find out more about National Women’s Health Week at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health. Please watch for new blog posts on these important May 2012 lupus events in the coming weeks. LA 4/19/2012]