What is the life expectancy of someone with systemic sclerosis?

The average life expectancy of patients with SSc is 16-34 years less than age-matched and sex-matched population peers.

Is systemic scleroderma life threatening?

Although it most often affects the skin, scleroderma also can affect many other parts of the body including the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, muscles and joints. Scleroderma in its most severe forms can be life-threatening.

Can systemic sclerosis be cured?

People often have antibodies in the blood characteristic of an autoimmune disorder. There is no cure for systemic sclerosis, but symptoms and organ dysfunction can be treated.

What is the 10-year survival rate for patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis scleroderma?

The 10-year survival rates were 81% for patients with limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis (SSc) and 70% for patients with diffuse cutaneous SSc (P = . 006).

Can you live a normal life with systemic sclerosis?

Many people with scleroderma lead a normal, or near normal life, although most have to be careful to avoid cold environments. People who are more severely affected (for example those with lung involvement, or limitation in hand function) are often restricted in what they are able to do.

Is limited scleroderma fatal?

The problems caused by limited scleroderma may be minor. Sometimes, however, the disease affects the lungs or heart, with potentially serious results. Limited scleroderma has no known cure. Treatments focus on managing symptoms, preventing serious complications and improving quality of life.

Can you live a full life with diffuse scleroderma?

Many people have a good scleroderma prognosis – they do not die of the disease and live a full and productive life. However, some people do die from scleroderma, for example those with severe lung, heart or kidney involvement.

Has anyone been cured from scleroderma?

Currently, there’s no cure for scleroderma, so doctors will find the treatments that work best to decrease the severity of the specific symptoms and manage or prevent additional complications.

How is the diagnosis of systemic sclerosis made?

Systemic Sclerosis is diagnosed based on the presence of various symptoms above and physical examination findings. The diagnosis can be confirmed by the presence of certain autoantibodies in the blood as well as radiographic studies. Particularly, the ANA, or the antinuclear antibody test, is positive, but not always.

Is it possible to have systemic sclerosis without skin?

It is possible to have Systemic Sclerosis without skin thickening (sine scleroderma), which is when a patient has the internal organ manifestations without the skin findings, but this is very rare.

How old do you have to be to have systemic sclerosis?

It is most common among people aged 20 to 50 and is rare in children. In limited systemic sclerosis (CREST syndrome—calcinosis cutis, Raynaud phenomenon, esophageal dysmotility, sclerodactyly, telangiectasias), patients develop skin tightening over the face and distal to the elbows and knees and may also have gastroesophageal reflux disease.

How many people die from systemic sclerosis each year?

Lung, heart, and kidney involvement accounts for most deaths. Diagnosis is clinical, but laboratory tests support the diagnosis and aid in prognostication. Specific treatment is difficult, and emphasis is often on treatment of complications. Systemic sclerosis is about 4 times more common among women than men.