The study, published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, analysed the data of 54,763 US women who have been assessed for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and exposure to trauma.
Over 24 years of follow-up, the researchers found that those who were diagnosed with PTSD were 2.94 times more likely to develop lupus, and those who had experienced trauma had a 2.87 greater risk of developing the condition.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks itself, affecting the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. Despite extensive research there’s no definitive cause and no known cure.
Although the disease can affect anybody, 90% of lupus patients are women and of these, 90% develop the condition during their reproductive years.
The disease has recently been in the spotlight after Selena Gomez revealed that she underwent a kidney transplant to treat her lupus.
She's also been open about discussing the affect lupus has had on her mental health, a common symptom. Other signs of the disease include fatigue, fever, hair loss, rashes, kidney problems, swollen joints, and gastrointestinal problems.
Around one in every 600 Aussies are affected, with proper diagnosis often taking a long time due to the nature of the symptoms.