By the President of the United States of America
Systemic lupus erythematosus (also known as lupus, or SLE) is a serious connective tissue disorder, affecting an estimated 500,000 Americans. Almost 90 percent of its victims are young women.
In the systemic form, lupus can affect almost any part of the body, often producing abnormalities in the kidney, heart, skin, joints, and other internal organs.
The outlook for victims of lupus has vastly improved in recent years. In 1955, the survival rate for lupus victims was only 50 percent four years after diagnosis. Now, more than 80 percent of lupus patients are alive 10 years after their disease has been identified. This increased survival is due to a greater awareness of the disease, better diagnostic methods, and development of more effective drug therapies. Nevertheless, an estimated 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and much additional research is needed to pinpoint the underlying cause of this disease and to discover methods for preventing or halting its progression.
In the last few years, progress has been made toward better understanding of lupus. Public and privately-supported medical research and education mean that each year thousands of patients can look forward to improved treatment, and the opportunity to live happier and more productive lives. However, new research findings and new approaches for improved treatment and diagnosis are needed if we are ever to eliminate lupus as a cause of human suffering and to improve the quality of life in our society for its victims.
The Congress has, by Senate Joint Resolution 201, authorized and requested the President to designate the week of October 19 through October 25, 1980, as National Lupus Week.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of October 19 through October 25, 1980, as National Lupus Week. I invite the Governors of the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to issue similar proclamations.
I urge the people of the United States and educational, philanthropic, scientific, medical, and health care organizations and professions to provide the necessary assistance and resources to discover the cause and cure of systemic lupus erythematosus and the other rheumatic diseases and to alleviate the suffering of all persons struck by these disorders.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11: 17 a.m., October 14, 1980]