The approximate ratio of women to men with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is 10:1, and such a high number of cases among women may be associated with the genitals. This was announced on May 28 by a candidate of medical sciences, a leading researcher at the laboratory of systemic lupus erythematosus of the Federal State Budgetary Scientific Institution NIIR named after V.I. V.A. Nasonova Elena Aseeva in an interview with Gazeta.Ru.
“It is believed that testosterone is able to suppress the activity of the immune system, while estrogen stimulates the immune response,” the doctor explained.
Doctors have well studied the features of the course of SLE in girls and women, for example, exacerbations and increased activity of the disease often manifest themselves in early pregnancy and in the postpartum period, which is most likely “associated with a change in the concentration of estrogens in the blood plasma,” and should be especially careful women who take hormonal estrogen-containing contraceptives, Aseeva noted.
As the rheumatologist explained, patients “with a positive antinuclear factor” often come to appointments, but they do not have other symptoms of lupus. First of all, doctors ask women about taking estrogen-containing hormonal contraceptives, since they can cause such immunological disorders.
Patients with SLE should be wary of hormonal contraceptives and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Men also get systemic lupus erythematosus, but the disease is atypical compared to women.
“Severe kidney damage often develops – lupus nephritis, there are severe skin lesions, and antiphospholipid syndrome develops more often,” the doctor warned.
Therefore, immediately after the diagnosis of SLE has become known, patients, both man and woman, must be observed by an experienced rheumatologist.
“Men have higher risks of a poor prognosis of the course of the disease than women, it is more difficult to achieve low activity, remission of the disease,” the doctor concluded.
Earlier, on March 1, it was reported that Russian scientists are developing a new approach to the treatment of SLE. The method will be based on the impact on T-cells, an important component of human adaptive immunity.
By analyzing gene expression in single cells, scientists hope to understand the properties of pathogenic T-lymphocytes and answer the question of how they exert their harmful effects.