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TheStreet Open House

Taking Lupus To Heart -- L.A. Doctor Honored

LOS ANGELES, June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This is the first in a series of reports by SMA Global focusing on healthcare issues and the help and hope provided by healthcare professionals.

1.5 million Americans, mostly young women, suffer from Lupus.  It is the mysterious disease that cannot be discovered with any single laboratory test and has not enjoyed any breakthrough new treatment in fifty years.

With their immune systems under attack, patients suffer chronic fatigue and exhaustion, joint pains, memory problems, confusion and skin rashes. Their extreme flares of pain come without warning.

A recent study at Ohio State University's prestigious Center for Clinical and Translational Science concluded that patients with Lupus have a 20 to 50-fold higher rate of cardiac events than a person without Lupus. One researcher described the condition as "speeding up" and "magnifying" heart disease and most of what is happening is invisible to examiners.

A few weeks ago, actor Jason Alexander and singer Toni Braxton, a Lupus patient, both major supporters of Lupus LA, one of the nation's most respected Lupus-fighting foundations, joined in honoring Dr. Jay Schapira, a nationally renowned Cardiologist, Professor of Medicine and Researcher/Writer.

Determined to reduce the dangers of cardiac complications in lupus patients, Dr. Schapira has teamed with global colleagues to challenge the previously unchecked incidents of cardiac disease that compound the damage and danger of lupus itself.

The Chairman of Lupus LA, Adam Selkowitz, was uniquely qualified to lead the parade of honors for Dr. Schapira.  Selkowitz is not only a lupus survivor but an all-star success story among Dr. Schapira's patients perhaps best proven by his completing a 5 mile marathon this past year.

"One of the biggest problems facing lupus patients are the often unpredictable side effects from the medicines that can do us the most good," Selkowitz said.

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