Global Survey Finds Lupus Greatly Impacts Physical Function and Quality of Life

World Lupus Federation survey data finds that lupus affects mobility and ability to conduct normal activities.

In a new global survey of more than 3,500 people with lupus released by the World Lupus Federation (WLF) for World Lupus Day on May 10, nearly 7 in 10 participants responded that lupus hampers their mobility. The majority of survey respondents also reported they are limited from doing daily activities because of lupus, including limitations going up and down stairs (67%) and doing chores (69%) such as vacuuming or yard work. 

The international survey included respondents from over 70 countries, and reinforces the devastating and life-altering effects lupus can cause to physical function for the estimated five million people who live with the disease across the globe. 

“Lupus can impact every part of a person’s life. Sadly, the physical impact of this disease, due to issues with mobility, pain or fatigue, shows just how much lupus can affect one’s ability to do daily activities, stay physically active or sometimes even get out of bed,” said Jeanette Andersen, Chair of Lupus Europe, one of the founding members of the World Lupus Federation. “This can severely impact the quality of life and underscores the importance for people with lupus to work with their care team to manage pain and mobility.”

Pain from lupus was also reported as a significant issue. Nearly 90% of participants responded that pain interfered with normal activities, including housework and work outside the home. Additionally, 73% of survey participants responded they are physically less active than other persons their age who do not have lupus.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease where the immune system is out of balance, producing antibodies that ravage healthy tissue and organs. The disease most often affects the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, heart and lungs. While therapies are available to help manage symptoms, there is no cure for lupus. The level of awareness and research of lupus is low compared to the disease’s impact worldwide, which is why sharing data on the effects of lupus is so important. 

“The World Lupus Federation is committed to improving the quality of life for all those affected by lupus. Raising awareness of the challenges people with lupus face each and every day, such as the effect of lupus on physical function and mobility, brings better understanding of the devastating impact of the disease not only for the public but for government leaders across the globe to increase funding for research into safer and more effective treatments, support services, and education,” said Stevan W. Gibson, president and CEO, Lupus Foundation of America which serves as the Secretariat of the World Lupus Federation.

Click here to view a topline summary and complete survey results, and don’t forget to download the digital awareness toolkit for World Lupus Day on 10 May.

Written by World Lupus Federation

The World Lupus Federation (WLF) is a coalition of lupus groups around the world who work together to improve the quality of life for people living with lupus, their family members and caregivers.

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