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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Some data concerning the epidemiology of SLE is given below:

  • overall prevalence is 12.5-78.5 cases per 100,000 population in Europe and the USA (1)
    • a study from Birmingham, UK has estimated the prevalence to be 27.7/100,000 in the general population (2)
  • SLE is more common in women than men:
    • the ratio is 10:1 in the age range 18 to 65 yr
    • the ratio is 2:1 in the young and elderly
    • men tend to have less photosensitivity, more serositis, an older age at diagnosis, and a higher 1 year mortality compared to women
  • in UK, it is 2.5 times more common in South Asian and 5-6 times more common in Afro-Caribbean individuals (1):
    • prevalence in white females age 18 to 65 yr is 1 per 1000 whilst in black females of similar age is 1 per 250
    • in addition, a marked ethnic variation in organ involvement is seen as well e.g. -in Afro-Caribbean patients there is an increased risk of renal disease while antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is less common when compared with Caucasians (1)
  • usual age of onset is 16 to 55 years (65% of patients) while 20% present before age of 16, and 15% after the age of 55 (3)
  • exacerbations may occur during pregnancy and menstruation
  • there may be a past history of spontaneous abortion and thrombosis, the antiphospholipid syndrome


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