Lupus and Kidney Disease (Lupus Nephritis)

How common is lupus nephritis?

Kidney damage is one of the more common health problems caused by lupus. In adults who have lupus, as many as 5 out of 10 will have kidney disease. In children who have lupus, 8 of 10 will have kidney disease.3

Who is more likely to develop lupus nephritis?

African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Asian Americans are more likely to develop lupus nephritis than Caucasians.4 Lupus nephritis is more common in men than in women.5

What are the symptoms of lupus nephritis?

The symptoms of lupus nephritis may include foamy urine and edema—swelling that occurs when your body has too much fluid, usually in the legs, feet, or ankles, and less often in the hands or face. You may also develop high blood pressure.

Kidney problems often start at the same time or shortly after lupus symptoms  appear and can include

  • joint pain or swelling
  • muscle pain
  • fever with no known cause
  • a red rash, often on the face, across the nose and cheeks, sometimes called a butterfly rash because of its shape

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