Between 400,000 and 3.1 million adults have Sjögren’s syndrome. This condition can affect people of any age, but symptoms usually appear between the ages of 45 and 55. It affects 10 times as many women as men. About half of patients also have rheumatoid arthritis or other connective tissue diseases, such as lupus.
In the early 1900s, Swedish physician Henrik Sjögren (SHOW-gren) first described a group of women whose chronic arthritis was accompanied by dry eyes and dry mouth. Today, rheumatologists know more about the syndrome that is named for Sjögren and—most significantly for patients—can offer advice about how to live with it.