How Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis Are Connected

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Many patients with lupus also suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. This is because they are both autoimmune diseases, meaning the immune system begins to attack a person’s own body rather than defend it.

MORE: Arthritis disables one in four Americans. 

According to, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop in people who have STAT4 gene mutation. Those with the mutation have double the average risk of developing lupus and a 60 percent higher chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis.  If a person has this gene mutation, they usually respond well to treatment for both diseases.

Arthritis is typically an inflammation of the joints and can appear anywhere on the body. This can lead to pain and in moderate to severe cases, it can impair the way a person can move the joints affected. Mild arthritis may only affect patients first thing in the morning or if it’s cold outside.

MORE: Certain molecule is the key to identifying joint inflammation and could lead to improved arthritis treatment.

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