A large-scale international survey reveals that low awareness of lupus results in public misconceptions about the disease.
The lack of understanding contributes to the stigmatisation of people with lupus, often leaving them feeling isolated from family and friends. The full 16-nation survey results, released today, on the occasion of World Lupus Day, May 10, by the World Lupus Federation (WLF) at worldlupusday.org.
Key survey findings include:
While lupus is a global health problem, more than half (51%) of survey respondents were not aware that lupus is a disease.
Of those surveyed that knew lupus is a disease, almost half (48%) over the age of 55 did not know of any complications associated with lupus.
Despite the overall lack of awareness, the survey revealed that more than 40% of respondents aged 18-34 were aware that kidney failure is a frequent complication of lupus. The familiarity among this group likely results from celebrities like American singer and actress Selena Gomez speaking out about lupus on social media. Gomez announced last September that she had a kidney transplant after lupus severely damaged her kidneys.