Arthritis Ireland and AstraZeneca Ireland have come together this World Lupus Day to call for people living with lupus to share their stories to increase visibility of the autoimmune condition and its impact on patients.   

In a recent survey conducted by Arthritis Ireland, the impact of lupus on the daily lives of those living with the condition was found to be significant. Individuals dealing with lupus face various challenges related to their health, well-being, and overall quality of life. Managing symptoms, seeking medical care, and adapting to lifestyle changes are essential aspects of coping with this autoimmune disease 

  • 90% of those surveyed indicated that lupus negatively impacts physical activity and their ability to exercise.  

  • 69% said lupus negatively impacts their family life 

  • Over 70% of those surveyed reported that the condition negatively impacts on their career, with many having to take prolonged time off work.  

  • Respondents also indicated a negative impact on their mental health due to their disease with anxiety (57%), loneliness (45%) and depression (36%) featuring strongly. 

  • Although 93% of respondents have been prescribed medication, 70% experience flares at least every 3 months 
As part of their joint initiative, Arthritis Ireland and AstraZeneca Ireland are calling on people living with lupus or who have family with the condition to share their stories online using the hashtag #makelupusvisible.  

Sharing her story to raise awareness on World Lupus Day is mother of two, Ruth Levins, who described the impact lupus has on her life, and the life of her family.

‘I started feeling unwell at 16, it took two years of tests, different doctors and a lot of perseverance to get a diagnosis. Although it can be challenging, I have never let it hold me back. I don't let lupus define who I am or how I live. As a full-time working mum of two young kids, life is busy. I try to prioritise sleep as much as I can in order to limit flare ups. Over the years, I've learnt that lack of sleep and stress are two major contributors to my lupus flaring up. I'm lucky that my lupus is well managed with the right medication for me and a wonderful medical team in Beaumont. I hope that by sharing my story this World Lupus Day, it will help more people in Ireland identify their symptoms, allowing them to get an early diagnosis and the right treatment.'


Gráinne O’Leary, Chief Executive at Arthritis Ireland said,

“The results of this Arthritis Ireland survey clearly indicate the huge impact lupus has on the day-to-day lives of those living with the disease. As lupus predominately affects women between the ages of 15 and 45, it can have a significant impact on fertility and on family life in general. There is a financial burden as well with many patients having to take time off work. At Arthritis Ireland, we provide support and resources for those living with lupus and through this campaign are aiming to increase awareness of the condition amongst the general public.”