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Hello Honeybee

I think we all share your fears, but in all probability our children will not inherit lupus and definitely not in the usual meaning of the term which is that for each child there is a definite 1 in 4, or 1 in 2 chance. Proof of this is that identical twins do not inevitably both have lupus which would be the case with true genetically inherited diseases since each twin has the same genetic makeup.
It is reckoned that the predisposition can be inherited but a trigger of some sort is needed to set the disease off. Just as siblings vary in obvious inherited features such as height, weight, and coloring, dependent on which particular mix of many genes they have, so siblings vary in their mix that might predispose them to lupus or similar connective tissue diseases, or other sorts of autoimmune diseases. There are very many genes potentially involved, not one specific one

It does tend to run in families though. It's said that about 10% of those with lupus have relatives with a related disease and there is a 1 in 10 chance that our children might in some way be affected. This is probably much the same as the chances of our children being affected by any sort of chronic disease or accidental injury or even congenital but non hereditary diseases. The main thing is to keep a general eye on their health.

Luckily there is no genetic testing available for the chances of developing lupus because there is no way of telling who will develop the disease or not. There is also no point testing unless the youngster is showing definite symptoms. Even the presence of specific antibodies is not enough to diagnose the disease : there have to be symptoms to show it is active and needs treating.

Here's a good article about it
http://www.uklupus.co.uk/genetics.html

Make a point in life of not worrying until there really is something to worry about! You have enough to cope with as it is.

All the best :)

Clare
 
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