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World APS Day

The APS Foundation of America (APSFA) has observed APS Awareness Month in June since 2007. On June 9, 2010, the 5 year anniversary of the founding of APSFA, the foundation marked the first World APS Day. During the month and on the day, those with APS—as well as their family members and friends—are encouraged to wear burgundy to spread awareness for APS.

Antiphospholipid syndrome, or APS, is a common autoimmune disease or disorder where the body views components of blood or cell membranes like they are foreign substances when they aren't and produces antibodies to fight against them. These antiphospholipid antibodies may cause blood clots. Some of the antibodies may cause strokes or heart attacks, as well as miscarriages. About a third of the strokes of people under the age of 50 are on account of APS. People with lupus erythematosus or other autoimmune diseases are prone to APS, but even healthy people can get it. About 1 in 2000 people in the United States have it, and over three-quarters of those affected are women.

There is no cure for APS, but there is treatment. Anticoagulant therapy is available for those who have had APS blood clots. Additional blood clots are usually prevented when the anticoagulants are given indefinitely. Those with higher antiphospholipid antibodies who haven't had symptoms of the syndrome may take aspirin, a low-dose anticoagulant that may reduce the chance of blood clots. Those at risk for APS may also change their diet and behavior. They may cease drinking alcohol and smoking, watch their weight, drink enough water, and exercise.

How to Observe World APS Day

Some ways to mark the day include:

  • Wear burgundy to raise awareness, and ask family, friends, and others to wear burgundy as well.
  • If you are an APS patient or caretaker, or if you are a family member or friend of someone with APS, write about your experiences with APS and share them online.
  • Find information about APS on the APSFA website.
  • Donate to the APSFA.
  • If you have APS symptoms, see a physician and specialists. Get tested for antiphospholipid antibodies and talk to your doctors about aspirin and anticoagulants.
  • Join the APSFA support forum.

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