Incidence and Prevalence of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Among Arab and Chaldean Americans in Southeastern Michigan: The Michigan Lupus Epidemiology and Surveillance Program

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Abstract

Objectives

We assessed the burden of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) among Arab and Chaldean Americans residing in southeast Michigan.

Methods

For those meeting SLE criteria from the Michigan Lupus Epidemiology and Surveillance Registry, we determined Arab or Chaldean ethnicity by links with demographic data from birth certificates and with a database of Arab and Chaldean names. We compared prevalence and incidence of SLE for Arab and Chaldean Americans with estimates for non-Arab and non-Chaldean American Whites and Blacks.

Results

We classified 54 individuals with SLE as Arab and Chaldean Americans. The age-adjusted incidence and prevalence estimates for Arab and Chaldean Americans were 7.6 and 62.6 per 100 000, respectively. Arab and Chaldean Americans had a 2.1-fold excess SLE incidence compared with non-Arab and non-Chaldean American Whites. Arab and Chaldean American women had both significantly higher incidence rates (5.0-fold increase) and prevalence estimates (7.4-fold increase) than did Arab and Chaldean American men.

Conclusions

Recognizing that Arab and Chaldean Americans experience different disease burdens from Whites is a first step toward earlier diagnosis and designing targeted interventions. Better methods of assigning ethnicity would improve research in this population.

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