Epidemiology of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Prevalence, Incidence, and Risk Factors

Author(s): Lahim Imran

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease characterized by a wide range of clinical manifestations and variable disease course. This abstract provides an overview of the epidemiology of SLE, including its prevalence, incidence, and associated risk factors. SLE exhibits significant heterogeneity in its prevalence across different populations and regions. Prevalence estimates typically range from 20 to 150 cases per 100,000 individuals, with higher rates observed among women, particularly those of African, Hispanic, or Asian descent. SLE is more frequently diagnosed during the childbearing years, with a female-to-male ratio of approximately 9:1, highlighting the influence of gender. Incidence rates of SLE vary globally, with annual estimates ranging from 0.3 to 23.6 cases per 100,000 person-years. These disparities may be influenced by genetic, environmental, and sociodemographic factors. Geographically, SLE incidence tends to be higher in North America and some regions of Europe compared to Asia and Africa. The variation in incidence rates underscores the multifaceted nature of this disease. Several risk factors contribute to the development of SLE. Genetic susceptibility plays a significant role, with various susceptibility loci identified, particularly within the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system. Environmental factors such as exposure to ultraviolet light, certain infections, and hormonal influences, including estrogen, have been associated with SLE development. Additionally, socio-economic factors and access to healthcare may influence disease outcomes and contribute to disparities in SLE prevalence and incidence.