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Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can impede women's family choices
Women's health research has highlighted the issues facing people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), who often find their disease impedes their ability to have the family they desire.
The study, which was published in the American College of Rheumatology's journal Arthritis Care & Research, revealed over half of female patients with these conditions have fewer children than originally planned.
Drs Megan Clowse and Kaleb Michaud and their colleagues across the US asked 1,017 women suffering from the diseases about their experiences and found 55 per cent of the 578 respondents with RA had smaller families than desired, rising to 64 per cent among the 114 participants with SLE.
The infertility rate among patients with RA with fewer children than intended was 42 per cent, but no such increase was noted in females with SLE.
However, women with lupus that had smaller families than desired were at higher risk of miscarriage.
Among the reasons cited by those who chose to have fewer children were concerns over the adverse effects of medications, passing their condition on and being able to take care of their offspring.
NHS Choices notes 90 per cent of SLE cases are in women and the condition is more common among African Caribbean females.
Posted by Martine Ward
World Congress 2015