Sandra Schaftner volunteers for the German Lupus Group, Lupus Erythematodes Selbsthilfegemeinschaft e.V. She is also one of the German-version translation volunteers of Lupus100. Below is a piece Sandra wrote on smoking and lupus. According to a study presented at the EULAR Congress 2023, smokers have a doubled risk of developing lupus. The study also emphasised smoking’s negative impact on medication effectiveness and increased risk of heart attacks due to accelerated atherosclerosis in lupus patients.ย 

 

Smokers have twice the risk of lupus

According to a study from Greece, smoking more than doubles the likelihood of at-risk individuals developing lupus. This makes smoking one of the most important risk factors for developing lupus. As per the study’s findings, the second important risk factor is first-degree kinship with a person with lupus. George Bertsias, Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Crete, presented the study at EULAR Congress 2023 (where EULAR stands for European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology) in the early summer of 2023.

French lupologist Professor Laurent Arnaud described the study as very interesting because it was one of the first studies that looked at how to predict lupus development. Only people who already have autoantibodies in their blood or who are directly related to a person suffering from lupus could participate in the study. All of the approximately 60 participants therefore already had certain risk factors for lupus. Participants were followed for up to five years as part of the study. The aim was to find out whether certain factors could be used to predict which people were at greater risk of developing lupus. For this purpose, the participants were asked to provide various information, such as infections, lifestyle information and medication. Blood and urine analyses were also carried out.

Twenty two percent (22%) of the participants developed lupus during those five years of observation. The large amount of information collected about them revealed that there were two main factors that doubled the risk of developing lupus: smoking and being directly related to someone with lupus. “Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about this second point, but we can very well influence smoking,” Prof. Laurent Arnaud said in the Lupus Europe “EULAR 2023 Webinar Debrief – For People Living with Lupus”:ย “If you are at risk of lupus, you absolutely should not smoke.”

 

Smoking may affect the effectiveness of medicines in lupus

Jeanette Andersen, chair of Lupus Europe, who was in the “EULAR 2023 Webinar Debrief – For People Living with Lupus” with Professor Arnaud, added that until now it was common knowledge that if you have lupus, you should not smoke because it interferes with the effectiveness of your medication and can makes the course of the disease worse. “But now we also have data for before diagnosis and we now know that smoking is bad, whether you already have the disease or not,” Jeanette Andersen concluded.

In the webinar, Professor Arnaud mentioned a study from 2015 in which he was involved; the study found the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in skin involvement may be halved due to smoking. “So minus 50 per cent in smokers compared to non-smokers, that’s a big difference,” Professor Arnaud said.

 

Smoking increases risk of heart attacks

A third reason not to smoke is that it increases the risk of accelerated atherosclerosis. According to the Lupus100 website “There is an increased cardiovascular risk related to lupus itself (increased risk of cholesterol deposits in the arteries), which further increases the risk of tobacco-related heart attacks.” Atherosclerosis is one of the most important long-term complications of lupus, along with infections.

 

 

Sources:

For more insights you can watch the Lupus Europe “EULAR 2023 Webinar Debrief – For People Living with Lupus” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vBISe63b7o

Additionally the Lupus Hub shared slides from Professor Bertsias Study via this tweet: https://twitter.com/lupus_hub/status/1664645654356930566

Further information can be found on the Lupus100 Website’s page “Should I Quit Smoking?” : https://lupus100.org/en/questions/should-i-quit-smoking

 

Text by Sandra Schaftner

 

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2 weeks ago
LUPUS EUROPE

๐Ÿฆ‹ Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease, and its exact cause is not fully understood.

โœ‹ While various risk factors have been identified, such as genetic predisposition๐Ÿงฌ and exposure to certain environmental๐ŸŒ‡ triggers, ๐—น๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ.

๐Ÿ” Understanding and managing these risk factors, along with early detection and appropriate medical care, are essential in effectively addressing #lupus and improving the quality of life for individuals affected by this condition.

๐Ÿค” So, how can we #kicklupus with prevention?
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๐Ÿฆ‹ Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease, and its exact cause is not fully understood.

โœ‹ While various risk factors have been identified, such as genetic predisposition๐Ÿงฌ and exposure to certain environmental๐ŸŒ‡ triggers, ๐—น๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ. 

๐Ÿ” Understanding and managing these risk factors, along with early detection and appropriate medical care, are essential in effectively addressing #lupus and improving the quality of life for individuals affected by this condition.

๐Ÿค” So, how can we #KickLupus with prevention?Image attachmentImage attachment
4 weeks ago
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๐ŸŒŸ Calling all Lupus Patient Organisation Volunteers! ๐ŸŒŸ

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Participate in our quick survey, taking just 2-3 minutes of your time, and help us understand volunteer motivations better.

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4 weeks ago
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๐Ÿ“† New month, new challenge!

๐Ÿ As the calendar flips to November, our #kicklupus campaign has a new theme!

๐Ÿค” Can you guess what this month's theme is all about?

๐Ÿ’ก Hint: It's all about implementing measures to help us hold #lupus at bay!

๐Ÿ™Œ Stay tuned for a month of discovery and empowerment as we unveil the importance of these measures in managing lupus.

Ready to embark on this journey with us? ๐Ÿ’ช
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๐Ÿ“†  New month, new challenge!

๐Ÿ As the calendar flips to November, our #KickLupus campaign has a new theme! 

๐Ÿค” Can you guess what this months theme is all about?

๐Ÿ’ก Hint: Its all about implementing measures to help us hold #lupus at bay!

๐Ÿ™Œ Stay tuned for a month of discovery and empowerment as we unveil the importance of these measures in managing lupus. 

Ready to embark on this journey with us? ๐Ÿ’ช

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๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿ€

1 month ago
LUPUS EUROPE

โ€ผ๏ธDespite a higher risk of infection in #SLE patients, vaccination rates are low due to:

๐Ÿ”นFear
๐Ÿ”นLack of trust
๐Ÿ”นFeeling of unsafety
๐Ÿ”นBelief in good health
๐Ÿ”นLack of recommendations by doctor

๐Ÿ’กLet's #KickLupus by shedding light on the facts & debunking the misconceptions surrounding vaccinations for people with lupus.

๐Œ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก 1๏ธโƒฃ: Vaccines & lupus flares

One of the most common fears among #lupus patients is the possibility of vaccines causing a flare.

โœ… Prof. Arnaud states that the risk of flare after vaccination is not confirmed. Typically the benefits of vaccination outweigh any potential, small risks.

๐Œ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก 2๏ธโƒฃ: People with lupus should avoid all vaccines

โœ… While some vaccines may not be recommended for people with lupus, many vaccines are safe and important.

Protecting against infections is key, as even minor illnesses could lead to complications in individuals with SLE.

๐Œ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก 3๏ธโƒฃ: Lupus patients can't receive live vaccines

โœ… Live vaccines are not typically recommended for lupus patients. However, in certain circumstances, it may be appropriate for some people to get live vaccines.

It is crucial this is assessed on a case-by-case basis by your doctor.

๐Œ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก 4๏ธโƒฃ: Vaccines worsen lupus symptoms

โœ… Vaccines don't worsen lupus symptoms. In fact, they help protect against infections, which could be more severe in lupus patients.

๐Œ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก 5๏ธโƒฃ: Lupus patients should only get vaccines if they are in remission

โœ… According to EULAR recommendations, vaccination in patients with lupus should preferably be administered during quiescent disease.

For patients with active disease, immunisation should not be ruled out & should be assessed on an individual basis.

๐Œ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก 6๏ธโƒฃ: One dose of the vaccine covers you for life

โœ… If you have lupus, your doctor should assess your vaccination status every year. That ensures vaccination strategies continue to be aligned with your needs & medical history.

Always consult with your doctor. They will tell you which vaccination schedule is safe & effective for you

๐ŸŒ Help us #KickLupus by raising awareness of the importance of immunisation.

Check the EULAR recommendations for vaccination in adult patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases:

ard.bmj.com/content/79/1/39
... See MoreSee Less

โ€ผ๏ธDespite a higher risk of infection in #SLE patients, vaccination rates are low due to:

๐Ÿ”นFear
๐Ÿ”นLack of trust
๐Ÿ”นFeeling of unsafety
๐Ÿ”นBelief in good health
๐Ÿ”นLack of recommendations by doctor

๐Ÿ’กLets #KickLupus by shedding light on the facts & debunking the misconceptions surrounding vaccinations for people with lupus. 

๐Œ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก 1๏ธโƒฃ: Vaccines & lupus flares

One of the most common fears among #lupus patients is the possibility of vaccines causing a flare.

โœ… Prof. Arnaud states that the risk of flare after vaccination is not confirmed. Typically the benefits of vaccination outweigh any potential, small risks.

๐Œ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก 2๏ธโƒฃ: People with lupus should avoid all vaccines

โœ… While some vaccines may not be recommended for people with lupus, many vaccines are safe and important.

Protecting against infections is key, as even minor illnesses could lead to complications in individuals with SLE.

๐Œ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก 3๏ธโƒฃ: Lupus patients cant receive live vaccines

โœ… Live vaccines are not typically recommended for lupus patients. However, in certain circumstances, it may be appropriate for some people to get live vaccines.

It is crucial this is assessed on a case-by-case basis by your doctor.

๐Œ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก 4๏ธโƒฃ: Vaccines worsen lupus symptoms

โœ… Vaccines dont worsen lupus symptoms. In fact, they help protect against infections, which could be more severe in lupus patients. 

๐Œ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก 5๏ธโƒฃ: Lupus patients should only get vaccines if they are in remission

โœ… According to EULAR recommendations, vaccination in patients with lupus should preferably be administered during quiescent disease.

For patients with active disease, immunisation should not be ruled out & should be assessed on an individual basis. 

๐Œ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก 6๏ธโƒฃ: One dose of the vaccine covers you for life

โœ… If you have lupus, your doctor should assess your vaccination status every year. That ensures vaccination strategies continue to be aligned with your needs & medical history.

Always consult with your doctor. They will tell you which vaccination schedule is safe & effective for you 

๐ŸŒ Help us #KickLupus by raising awareness of the importance of immunisation.

Check the EULAR recommendations for vaccination in adult patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases:

https://ard.bmj.com/content/79/1/39Image attachmentImage attachment+6Image attachment
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