23andMe Announced Insights from Lupus Research

23andMe collaborated with researchers from Pfizer to learn more about how to treat Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease. The research was powered by almost 6,000 consented researcher participants. No new genetic associations were found, but 23andMe did uncover deeper insights into non-genetic factors and symptoms associated with the disease.

The Lupus Foundation of America says that Lupus is a chronic (long-term) disease that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of the body. It is an autoimmune disease, which means that it attacks the immune system – the body system that usually fights infections – attacks healthy tissue instead.

Nine out of ten people who have Lupus are women. Anyone can develop Lupus, but certain people have a higher risk for Lupus, including: women ages 15 to 44, certain racial or ethnic groups – including people who are African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, or Pacific Islander. People who have a family member with Lupus or another autoimmune disease are at higher risk of having Lupus.

Here are some of the findings:

The size of the study meant that a much larger number of people from underrepresented populations participated than in previous studies. Most of 23andMe’s Lupus study participants are women, and about 9 percent are Black, about 21 percent are multi-racial, just under 2 percent are Asian and about 68 percent are white.

It is possible that a much larger cohort than 5,000 people is needed to find additional genetic associations for the disease. In addition, because Lupus presents in so many different ways – often with symptoms that are similar to other diseases, it is difficult to diagnose.

27 percent of 23andMe’s Lupus Research Study participants reported that they had been diagnosed with depression or major depressive disorder since being diagnosed with Lupus. In fact, Lupus patients are at four times greater risk of having major depression when compared to those without the disease among 23andMe research participants.

Related Articles at FamilyTree.com:

23andMe Launched a Lupus Research Community

Chronic Pain and Depression Share Some Genetic Links

Study About Parkinson’s Includes Data from 23andMe

< Return To Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.