Lupus 101 Quiz

An autoimmune disorder is defined as:

A condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue

“Auto” means “self.” In an autoimmune illness such as lupus, the immune system—designed to protect against bacteria and viruses—mistakenly turns on itself to attack the body’s own healthy cells and tissues as though they were foreign invaders.

In the United States, which ethnic background is most predisposed to lupus?


Lupus is three times more common among minority women than Caucasian women. The frequency of lupus varies by race and ethnicity, with higher rates reported among African-Americans and Hispanics. This higher incidence may be the result of a shared gene pool within each ethnic group.

Apart from genetic history, which of the following environmental factors might trigger the onset of lupus?

All of the above (Infection, Stress, Sunlight)

Though a person’s genes may affect his or her likelihood of developing lupus, it often takes some sort of environmental trigger to activate the illness or a flare-up.

What is the most common form of lupus?

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

As the most prevalent type of lupus, systemic lupus erythematosus is what most people mean when they refer to “lupus.” SLE is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disorder.

What differentiates Cutaneous lupus (also known as discoid lupus) from systemic lupus?

Cutaneous lupus affects only the skin.

Whereas systemic lupus may manifest itself in multiple systems including the skin, blood, heart, lungs, joints, kidneys, nervous system, and other organs, Cutaneous lupus is restricted to the skin. Its main symptom is known as a discoid rash, since the inflamed area is shaped like a disk.

Which of the following medications has NOT been associated with drug-induced lupus?

Adderall (for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)

Some other medications that have been linked to lupus include sulfa drugs, sun-sensitizing tetracycline drugs, and antibiotic drugs. Drug-induced lupus usually does not impact the kidneys or central nervous system, and its effects are generally reversible.

What is the hallmark of an autoimmune attack?


When the tissues are injured, the body’s natural response is to protect itself through inflammation—which helps to eliminate a foreign body and prevent further injury. Signs of inflammation include redness, swelling, warmth, and pain.

Which of the following is not a symptom of lupus?

Cancerous tumors

Common complaints of lupus patients include painful joints, swollen ankles, chest pain, hair loss, mouth ulcers, fever, fatigue, rashes, and sun sensitivity. There is no correlation between lupus and cancer.

What test might a doctor perform to help diagnose lupus?

All of the above (Chest x-ray, Neurological exam, Kidney biopsy)

There is no single laboratory test to determine whether a person has lupus. To diagnose lupus, a doctor will examine medical history, look for physical or clinical evidence of the disease, and perform specialized tests to rule out other conditions.

Which of the following is true about lupus?

Lupus most often strikes women of childbearing age.

It is a common misconception that lupus is a rare, communicable disease. Lupus bears no resemblance to cancer—a condition of abnormal tissues that spread rapidly—or to HIV—a condition that suppresses the immune system. Rather, lupus is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system is overactive.

The 10-year survival rate for lupus patients is _________.

Greater than 85%

While in the first half of the 20th century, the 5-year survival rate for systemic lupus was less than 50%, the 10-year survival rate now exceeds 90%. Decreased mortality rates can be attributed to earlier diagnosis, general medical advances, and improvements in specific treatments.

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