Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is considered one of the new diseases of the late twentieth century and the cause is not really known. In 1983, Dr Graham Hughes and his team in London described in detail a condition – often known as “sticky blood”, in which there was a danger of thrombosis (clotting).

If you are diagnosed with APS as a secondary disorder (you also have lupus or another autoimmune disorder), the cause is then considered to be the lupus or other disorder that you have.

The cause of primary APS (you only have the syndrome) is unknown. There are some factors that are associated with developing the antiphospholipd syndrome, but not necessarily the syndrome. These factors can include infections, medications and genetic predispositions, however, the disorder isn’t considered hereditary.

APS Statistics is the United States (according to the APS Foundation of America, Inc.):

  • Between 1% and 5% of the American population is believed to have APS antiphospholipid syndrome (APS).
  • Between 15% and 20% of all cases of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and pulmonary embolisms (lung blood clots) are caused by APS.
  • Between 10% and 25% of women with recurrent miscarriages have APS.
  • Approximately 1 in every 3 cases of stroke among people under 50 years of age is due to APS.
  • Between 75% and 90% of patients with APS are female.
  • Between 40% and 50% of individuals with lupus also have APS.