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Study Estimates Prevalence of Lupus in the U.S.

Prevalence nine times higher for women versus men; rates highest in American Indian/Alaska Natives, Black women

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THURSDAY, Jan. 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The estimated prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the United States is 72.8/100,000, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Peter M. Izmirly, M.D., from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis estimating the U.S. SLE prevalence using data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Lupus Registry network, which includes four registries in unique states and one in the Indian Health Service.

Overall, 5,417 cases fulfilled the 1997 American College of Rheumatology SLE classification criteria. The researchers found that the pooled prevalence was 72.8/100,000 for the four state-specific registries and was nine times higher for women than men (128.7 versus 14.6). Prevalence was highest among Black women, followed by Hispanic, White, and Asian/Pacific Islander women (230.9, 120.7, 84.7, and 84.4, respectively). Among men, prevalence was highest among Blacks, followed by Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and Whites (26.7, 18.0, 11.2, and 8.9, respectively). The highest race-specific SLE estimates for women and men were seen for American Indian/Alaska Natives (270.6 and 53.8/100,000, respectively). In the United States, 204,295 persons fulfilled ACR SLE criteria in 2018.

"Our study potentially redefines systemic lupus erythematosus as a rare disease in the United States and lays the groundwork for where we need to focus our efforts to reduce the burden of this disease on Americans," Izmirly said in a statement.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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