Epidemiology of systemic lupus erythematosus: an update

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Purpose of review

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the prototypical systemic autoimmune disease with a significant disease burden across the world among different ethnic, racial, and age groups. The pathophysiological understanding of SLE is constantly evolving and with it, the need for a better definition of the disease itself, for understanding the risk among the different affected populations, and for identifying the factors responsible for the damage accrual through the years.

Recent findings

More accurate estimates of incidence and prevalence of SLE among different ethnicities and minority groups not only in the USA, but also in Europe, Middle East, and Asia have provided new insights into the disease burden around the world. Despite advances in treatment, mortality among SLE patients remains high with significant ethnic and geographic variations.


Sex, race, and ethnicity significantly affect SLE incidence, prevalence, and mortality.

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