Some babies are born with the disease
Sometimes, a mother with lupus or antibodies related to it can pass those antibodies to her newborn, causing a form of lupus called neonatal lupus.
Typically, the result is lupus-like skin lesions that go away after a few months, when the babies start to make their own antibodies, he says.
In rare cases, the child of a mother with those antibodies will develop a condition known as congenital heart block, but moms-to-be with lupus shouldn’t stress. Only 2 to 5 per cent of babies whose mothers have those antibodies will develop congenital heart block, according to a study in Arthritis & Rheumatology.
These problems can be detected during ultrasound during pregnancy and babies can be treated immediately after being born by getting a pacemaker implanted to help regulate the electrical activity of the heart.
Can damage the kidneys and increases cardiovascular risk
Left unchecked, inflammation running rampant in the body can lead to serious complications. For lupus, damage to the kidneys is a big concern. About 40 to 70 per cent of lupus patients have kidney inflammation, according to a study in Nature Reviews Nephrology, making renal failure one of the main comorbidities.
Indirectly, lupus can lead to cardiovascular problems. Lupus doesn’t directly affect the heart, but the inflammation the disease causes can speed up the formation of blood clots.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in people who have had lupus for more than five years, according to a study in Current Cardiology Reviews.
One thing you can do to help reduce your risk of heart disease is to eat a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet that focuses on healthy vegetables and seafood while avoiding red meat, doctors recommend.