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I fall into the familial genetic group. It skipped my father's generation, but has hit all 3 of us first cousins. My cousin died, at age 36 yrs, of complications from diabetes and lupus, I was the first diagnosed, and we have the next first cousin who has tested 3 of the 11 sle symptoms. BUT, all of us are ana negative and have always been negative. The cousin who died, had her life ended by her 10th heart attack, she also had major brain involvement with seizures starting at 13 yrs. It has done major damage to my lungs and some brain involvement. The other cousin has joint involvement and mild brain involvement.

Of our grandfather's 8 siblings and himself, 8 of the 9 died of either heart attack or strokes. The 9th died in her late 90's of basically worn out body. The oldest sibling died in her early 20's of "heart problems." Nothing more was known about her. My grandfather was about 9 when she died, so he didn't know much. By the time we knew about sle, the other relatives who might have known, had already passed on. Both my uncles (father's brothers) had heart attacks and my dad had a thoracic aortic aneurysm which was repaired with an endo-luminal graft.

So, yes it can run in families, and somewhat skip generations.

That said, I would NOT put out much energy worrying about the possibilities of sle passing on to your children. Keep aware of symptoms like rashes and fevers in the summer where the kids had been in sun for the previous day or two. If they have a bright face rash, joint involvement, organ involvement, etc, THEN I would be at the doctor wanting to know what to do. Even if the ana was neg, I would be looking into it further. IMHO too much weight is put on ana's. They are but ONE of eleven symptoms.

In my case and my cousin, had the doctors pursued more thoroughly beyone the ana, we would most likely have been diagnosed about 25 years earlier for me, and about 20 for my cousin. We had a long list of symptoms, but because our ana's were negative, the drs did not pursue any further investigation.

I suggest you keep an eye on your children and if there are symptoms, then get them checked out by a pediatric rheumatologist.
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