An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body’s immune system starts attacking and destroying healthy body tissue by mistake.
Scleroderma is a rheumatic, autoimmune and chronic disease that affects the body by hardening connective tissue.
According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), here are some facts and statistics about autoimmune diseases.
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that up to 23.5 million* Americans live with an autoimmune disease and that its prevalence is rising.
- On the other hand, AARDA says that 50 million* Americans live with an autoimmune disease.
(*The difference is due to the NIH only including 24 diseases for which they had epidemiology studies they considered appropriate available).
- Initial symptoms are often intermittent and unspecific until the disease becomes acute.
- Researchers have identified between 80 to 100 different autoimmune diseases.
- These autoimmune diseases are usually chronic and may be life-threatening.
- Researchers also suspect that at least another 40 diseases have an autoimmune basis.
- Autoimmune diseases are one of top 10 leading causes for female children and women in all age groups (up to 64 years of age) to die.
- In 2003, NIH research funding for autoimmune disease was $591 million.
- The NIH Autoimmune Diseases Research Plan states: “Research discoveries of the last decade have made autoimmune research one of the most promising areas of new discovery.”
- According to the NIH, annual direct health care costs for autoimmune diseases are in the range of $100 billion (source: NIH presentation by Dr. Fauci, NIAID).
Learn more autoimmune facts and statistics here: http://bit.ly/1WOnEOU
Learn more about scleroderma here: http://bit.ly/learnscleroderma
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