May is Lupus Awareness Month

April 2021

NACDD is collaborating with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), the Lupus Foundation of America/Georgia Chapter, the Big Bend Rural Health Network and the University of Alabama to implement a Lupus School Health Training and Education Program (Training Program). According to the American College of Rheumatology, about 20% of people with lupus developed the disease before 20 years of age; female children are at least four times more likely to develop lupus than male children.[i]
 
The Training Program was developed by a workgroup comprised of the ACR, NACDD, pediatric rheumatology fellows and rheumatology fellowship program directors, a certified registered nurse practitioner and representatives from LFA/GA, and BBRHN. The training was approved by the ACR Pediatric Review Committee and CDC and includes the following resources:

  • A training program for school health practitioners in a PowerPoint format, suitable for in-person or virtual instruction.
  • Guidance to Caring for Students with Lupus plan (Care Plan), which provides guidance and resources for school health personnel to care for students with lupus; and
  • Guidance to Independent Self Care for Students with Lupus plan (Transition Plan), which provides guidance for students, families, and school personnel as the student transitions from pediatric to adult healthcare providers. 

The Training Program was implemented in select school districts in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama between January 2020 and August 2020. A total of 332 school nurses and staff were trained through five training sessions.

NACDD is currently working with ACR to update the training protocol and evaluation process and plans to expand to other states during 2021-2022.

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. With autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune system cannot tell the difference between viruses, bacteria, and other germs and the body’s healthy cells, tissues, or organs. Because of this, the immune system attacks and destroys these healthy cells, tissues or organs.[ii]

Lupus is most common in women between the ages of 18-45, but it can affect men also. It is difficult to know how many people in the United States have lupus, because the symptoms are different for every person. The Lupus Foundation of American estimates that 1.5 million Americans have lupus; CDC estimates that between 161,000 and 322,000 Americans are living with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE),[iii] the most common type of lupus. SLE is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own tissues, causing widespread inflammation and tissue damage in the affected organs. It can affect the joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels. The causes of SLE are unknown, but are believed to be linked to environmental, genetic, and hormonal factors.

Recent studies indicate that lupus incidence rates are almost three times higher in Black women than white women and affect one in 537 young Black women. Women of color tend to develop lupus at a younger age, experience more serious complications and have higher mortality rates—up to three times the mortality rate of white women.[iv]

For more information about lupus, please visit chronicdisease.org/page/Autoimmune

The American College of Rheumatology/The Lupus Initiative: www.thelupusinitiative.org

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/lupus

The Lupus Foundation of America: www.lupus.org


[i] Hiraki LT, Benseler SM, Tyrrell PN, Hebert D, Harvey E, Silverman ED. Clinical and laboratory characteristics and long-term outcome of pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus: a longitudinal study. J  Pediatr. 2008 Apr;152(4):550-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2007.09.019. Epub 2007 Nov 5. PMID: 18346514.[ii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention accessed March 18, 2020.  https://www.cdc.gov/lupus/basics/women.htm[iii]Lawrence, R.C., Felson, D.T., Helmick, C.G., Arnold, L.M., Choi, H., Deyo, R.A., et al, for the National Arthritis Data Workgroup. (2008). Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States: Part II. Arthritis Rheum; 58(1):26–35.[iv] Lim, S.S. et al, The Incidence and Prevalence of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.  Arthritis & Rheumatology 2014,66:369

Read more from the April 2021 issue of Impact Brief below.

  • May is Lupus Awareness Month
    April 2021 NACDD is collaborating with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), the Lupus Foundation of America/Georgia Chapter, the Big Bend Rural Health Network and the University of Alabama to implement a Lupus School Health Training and Education Program (Training Program). According to the American College of Rheumatology, about 20% of people with lupus developed […]
  • Strategic Partners that Reach Physicians
    April 2021 Public health partnerships continue to fuel NACDD’s innovation in chronic disease prevention and control. NACDD has recently partnered with four dynamic organizations in the area of CME and general health education to the physician community: Healio (Healio.com), Docola (Doco.la), Medscape (Medscape.com), and the venerable New England Journal of Medicine (nejm.com). All offer significant […]
  • Serving You in Our New Public Health Era
    CEO Message – April 2021 During the past 30 years, NACDD has become a recognized national leader in improving health and health equity at the state level. We succeed through a collaborative approach that connects state, tribal, and territorial health officials with the CDC and other traditional and nontraditional partners. Our success also stems from […]

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