Estrogen therapy elevates lupus risk

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Postmenopausal estrogen therapy may increase the risk of developing lupus, a chronic inflammatory disorder which, at its severest, affects virtually every organ of the body. Followups from the Nurses' Health Study involving 69,435 women showed that those who took postmenopausal estrogen doubled their risk of developing systemic lupus erythematosus. Results were published in Annals of Internal Medicine (15 March 1995).

More than 50 medications have been thought to be responsible for inducing lupus, according to James W. Long, M.D., and James J. Rybacki, Pharm.D., authors of The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs 1995. They state that the lupus incidence is higher in African Americans and in some Asian and North American Indian groups than in Caucasians. The overwhelming majority of cases occur in women.

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