Just within the United States alone, more than 1.5 million people are living with lupus and millions of people worldwide have lupus.
Although the cause of lupus is unknown, genetics and hormones are thought to play a role.
Some men struggle with the idea that they have a disease that is mostly diagnosed in women, when in fact the diagnosis has no connection to manliness and should not be considered in this way. Click here to learn more about men with lupus.
An estimated 5,000 to 10,000 of the 1.5 million Americans with lupus are diagnosed while under the age of 18.
About one in three children with lupus has a mild disease, but most have a moderate disease that may be severe at times, but usually responds well to treatment. Click here to learn more about lupus in children.
African-American women are three times more likely than Caucasian women to get lupus and develop severe symptoms, with as many as 1 in every 250 African-American women affected.
And the disease is two times more prevalent in Asian American and Latina women than it is in Caucasian women. Women of Native American descent are also disproportionately affected.
The famous “Lupus in Minorities: Nature Versus Nurture” (LUMINA) study—a large multi-ethnic, multi-regional, and multi-institutional examination of lupus begun in 1993—found that genetic and ethnic factors are more important than socioeconomic ones in influencing disease activity. The study tracked death, damage, disability, and disease activity. The results also suggest that there are probably other genetic factors affecting the presentation of the disease in the African American and Latino communities.
The researchers have published numerous papers reporting study findings on the relative contribution of genetic and socioeconomic factors on the course and outcome of lupus in Latinos, African Americans, and Caucasians.
What have we learned from a 10-year experience with the LUMINA cohort? Where are we heading? Click here to read the PubMed abstract.