- Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune condition that can occur at any age, but is most common in older women. Many patients develop Sjögren's syndrome as a complication of another autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
- Symptoms vary in type and intensity, but many people with Sjögren's are able to live normal lives.
- Most of the treatment for Sjögren's syndrome is aimed at relieving symptoms of dry eyes and mouth and preventing and treating long-term complications such as infection and dental disease. Treatments often do not completely eliminate the symptoms of dryness.
- Most patients with Sjögren's syndrome remain healthy, but some rare complications have been described, including an increased risk for cancer of the lymph glands (lymphoma). Thus, regular medical care and follow up is important for all patients.
Between 400,000 and 3.1 million adults have Sjögren's syndrome. This condition can affect people of any age, but symptoms usually appear between the ages of 45 and 55. It affects ten times as many women as men. About half of patients also have rheumatoid arthritis or other connective tissue diseases, such as lupus.
In the early 1900s, Swedish physician Henrik Sjögren (SHOW-gren) first described a group of women whose chronic arthritis was accompanied by dry eyes and dry mouth. Today, rheumatologists know more about the syndrome that is named for Sjögren and—most significantly for patients—can offer advice about how to live with it.
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