Basic Summary for Sjogren's Syndrome


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Main name of condition: Sjogren's Syndrome
Other names or spellings: Sjögren's syndrome, Sjogren's, Keratoconjunctivitis sicca


What is Sjogren's Syndrome?
  Brief description of Sjogren's Syndrome: Autoimmune disease damaging the eye tear ducts and other glands.
  Parent types of Sjogren's Syndrome: Autoimmune diseases, Rheumatic conditions, Connective tissue disorders, Eye conditions
  Organs Affected by Sjogren's Syndrome: eye
  Types of Sjogren's Syndrome: Primary Sjögren's syndrome, Secondary Sjögren's syndrome
How many people get Sjogren's Syndrome?
  Prevalance of Sjogren's Syndrome: 1 to 4 million people with Sjogren’s Syndrome (NIAMS)
  Prevalance Rate of Sjogren's Syndrome: approx 1 in 272 or 0.37% or 1 million people in USA [about data]
  Undiagnosed prevalence of Sjogren's Syndrome: estimated 2 million
  Undiagnosed prevalence rate of Sjogren's Syndrome: approx 1 in 136 or 0.74% or 2 million people in USA [about data]
  Prevalance of Sjogren's Syndrome: Experts believe 1 to 4 million people have the disease. 1 ... Experts believe 1 to 4 million people have the disease. 2
Who gets Sjogren's Syndrome?
  Patient Profile for Sjogren's Syndrome: Usually women after 50, though any age possible. Occurs rarely in children.
  Profile for Sjogren's Syndrome: Most--90 percent---are women. It can occur at any age, but it usually is diagnosed after age 40 and can affect people of all races and ethnic backgrounds. It's rare in children, but it can occur. 1 ... Most--90 percent---are women. It can occur at any age, but it usually is diagnosed after age 40 and can affect people of all races and ethnic backgrounds. It's rare in children, but it can occur. 2
  Gender Profile for Sjogren's Syndrome: Women 9:1, about 90% (NWHIC).
How serious is Sjogren's Syndrome?
  Prognosis of Sjogren's Syndrome: Not life threatening. Not life-shortening. Lifelong treatment.
  Prognosis of Sjogren's Syndrome: Sjogren's can damage vital organs of the body with symptoms that may plateau, worsen, or go into remission. Some people may experience only the mild symptoms of dry eyes and mouth, while others go through cycles of good health followed by severe disease. Many patients are able to treat problems symptomatically. Others are forced to cope with blurred vision, constant eye discomfort, recurrent mouth infections, swollen parotid glands, hoarseness, and difficulty in swallowing and eating. Debilitating fatigue and joint pain can seriously impair quality of life. 3 ... The disease has a benign course, but in rare cases malignant cancer of the lymph nodes may develop. 4
  Complications of Sjogren's Syndrome: see complications of Sjogren's Syndrome
What causes Sjogren's Syndrome?
  Cause of Sjogren's Syndrome: Autoimmune disorder primarily of saliva and tear glands.
  Causes of Sjogren's Syndrome: Normally, the immune system works to protect us from disease by destroying harmful invading organisms like viruses and bacteria. In the case of Sjögren's syndrome, disease-fighting cells attack the glands that produce tears and saliva (the lacrimal and salivary glands). Damage to these glands keeps them from working properly and causes dry eyes and dry mouth. 1 ... Normally, the immune system works to protect us from disease by destroying harmful invading organisms like viruses and bacteria. In the case of Sjögren's syndrome, disease-fighting cells attack the glands that produce tears and saliva (the lacrimal and salivary glands). Damage to these glands keeps them from working properly and causes dry eyes and dry mouth. 2
  Class of Condition for Sjogren's Syndrome: autoimmune
  Causes of Sjogren's Syndrome: see causes of Sjogren's Syndrome
What are the symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome?
  Symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome: see symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome
Can anyone else get Sjogren's Syndrome?
  Contagion of autoimmunity: generally not; see details in contagion of autoimmune diseases.
How is it treated?
  Specialists for Sjogren's Syndrome: Rheumatologist, Allergist, Dermatologist, Gastroenterologist, Gynecologist, Neurologist, Ophthalmologist, Otolaryngologist, Pulmonologist, Urologist
  Treatments for Sjogren's Syndrome: see treatments for Sjogren's Syndrome
  Research for Sjogren's Syndrome: see research for Sjogren's Syndrome

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Questions and Answers About Sjögren's Syndrome: NIAMS
2. excerpt from Questions and Answers About Sj”gren's Syndrome: NIAMS
3. excerpt from NINDS Sjogren's Syndrome Information Page: NINDS
4. excerpt from Connective Tissue Diseases: NWHIC

Last revision: June 16, 2003

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