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Why do autoimmune diseases affect more women?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Obstetrics & Gynecology - Maternal Fetal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Fetal cell traffic.

Fetal cells cross the placenta and lodge in maternal tissues triggering immune reaction to the paternal antigens.
That's why autoimmune diseases are almost exclusive seen in women of reproductive age. If you are wondering about such diseases in men or women who have never been pregnant, the answer is that all of us carry cells from our mothers in our bodies since we were born; they can do the same.

In brief: Fetal cell traffic.

Fetal cells cross the placenta and lodge in maternal tissues triggering immune reaction to the paternal antigens.
That's why autoimmune diseases are almost exclusive seen in women of reproductive age. If you are wondering about such diseases in men or women who have never been pregnant, the answer is that all of us carry cells from our mothers in our bodies since we were born; they can do the same.
Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
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