Prevalence of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in the United States: Estimates from a Meta-Analysis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Lupus Registries

Peter M Izmirly, Hilary Parton, Lu Wang, W Joseph McCune, S Sam Lim, Cristina Drenkard, Elizabeth D Ferucci, Maria Dall'Era, Caroline Gordon, Charles G Helmick, Emily C Somers
Arthritis & Rheumatology 2021 January 20

OBJECTIVE: Epidemiologic data for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is limited, particularly for racial/ethnic subpopulations in the United States (U.S.). Leveraging data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Lupus Registry network of population-based SLE registries, a meta-analysis estimating U.S. SLE prevalence was performed.

METHODS: The CDC National Lupus Registry network included four registries in unique states and a fifth in the Indian Health Service (IHS). All registries used the 1997 revised American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria for the SLE case definition. Case finding spanned either 2002-2004 or 2007-2009. A random effects model was employed given heterogeneity across sites. Applying sex/race-stratified estimates to the 2018 Census population, an estimate for the number of SLE cases in the U.S. was generated.

RESULTS: 5,417 cases fulfilled the ACR SLE classification criteria. Pooled prevalence from the four state-specific registries was 72.8/100,000 (95%CI:65.3,81.0), 9 times higher for females than males (128.7 vs 14.6), and highest among Black females (230.9), followed by Hispanic (120.7), white (84.7) and Asian/Pacific Islander females (84.4). Male prevalence was highest in Black males (26.7) followed by Hispanic (18.0), Asian/Pacific Islander (11.2), and white males (8.9). The American Indian/Alaska Native had the highest race-specific SLE estimates for females (270.6/100,000) and males (53.8/100,000). In 2018, 204,295 persons (95% CI:160,902,261,725) in the U.S. fulfilled ACR SLE classification criteria.

CONCLUSIONS: A coordinated network of population-based SLE registries provided more accurate estimates for SLE prevalence and numbers affected in the U.S.

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