July 15, 2008

Live Webchat to Discuss “UV Light and Lupus”

Several scientific studies over the last 30 years have looked at the role of ultraviolet (UV) light in triggering the autoimmune disease lupus. UV light is invisible radiation from the sun and is also emitted from fluorescent lights. As many as half of the estimated 1.5 million Americans living with lupus experience abnormal light sensitivity, or "photosensitivity." People who are photosensitive develop a skin rash as a result of unusual reaction to sunlight or artificial light containing UV rays.

The Lupus Foundation of America will conduct a live chat through its Website on the topic of "UV Light and Lupus," on Thursday, July 17, beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern time. The chat is accessible through the LFA Website at www.lupus.org. The guest expert is Dr. Victoria Werth, chief of the Division of Dermatology, at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Hospital. She is also a Professor of Dermatology and Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Individuals may submit questions to Dr. Werth in advance or during the course of the chat. A transcript of the chat will be posted to the LFA Website the following day.

Submit an advance question prior to July 17: http://www.lupus.org/newsite/pages/submit_question.html

Log in to live chat on July 17: http://www.lupus.org/newsite/pages/chat_login.html

About Lupus

Lupus is the result of an unbalanced immune system that can be destructive to any organ or tissue in the body. Lupus is unpredictable and potentially fatal, yet no satisfactory treatment exists. More than 1.5 million Americans, and at least five million people worldwide, have a form of the disease. The health consequences of lupus include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and organ failure.

About the LFA

The Lupus Foundation of America is the foremost national nonprofit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus and for providing support, services, and hope to all people affected by lupus. The LFA and its network of nearly 300 chapters, branches, and support groups conduct programs of research, education, and advocacy.