Several of my colleagues and I have begun to wonder if others have noticed a notably higher rate of autoimmune disease (MS, RA, SLE, etc) among your nursing peers. I received a call from a friend I nursed with in the 80's who reports that 8 of our fellow nurses and techs from the same ED have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I (and now she) have MS. As there appears to be strong evidence that viral exposure (EBV, for example) may kick off these diseases in genetically suseptible individuals, healthcare workers might be especially vulnerable to these diseases. Has anyone else noticed this? Comments and observations, links to ongoing research would be appreciated!
Jun 20, '04
Interesting, i was just in a discussion about this the other night. It seems the incidence of autoimmune diseases has risen drastically. Not necissarily in health care but in general. I know 6 individuals who have MS but none of them are in health care.
Jun 21, '04
I had autoimmune disease before entering nursing...and it has improved.
Jun 22, '04
Is there really an increased incidence of autoimmune disease, or is there an increased awareness and therefore more diagnoses? I think nurses are also more likely to push for testing and referral to specialists, so we might be more likely than the layperson to get a diagnosis.
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