Comparative United States autoimmune disease rates for 2010-2016 by sex, geographic region, and race

Autoimmun Rev. 2020 Jan;19(1):102423. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2019.102423. Epub 2019 Nov 14.


Purpose: AIDs may disproportionately impact specific racial groups, but autoimmune (AID) prevalence information by minority racial group is sparse for many AIDs. The objective of this analysis was to supplement previously published AID prevalence rates by providing information on race rate ratios (minority race populations compared to Caucasian populations) in the United States. Preliminary to estimating race rate ratios, contemporary US-specific, health care utilization-based AID prevalence rates and female-to-male ratios were estimated and compared to previously published AID prevalence rates.

Methods: We used a large national electronic medical record database of 52 million individuals to estimate age-adjusted direct standardized rates for 22 AIDs for 2010 through 2016 by gender, race, and US census division. These were compared to previously published estimates.

Results: Female-to-male ratios were comparable with published studies. Almost all observed Multiracial AID rates were significantly higher than Caucasian rates, as well as 9 of 22 AID rates observed among Native Americans and 8 of 22 AID rates estimated among African-American patients. Regional variation was noted: highest African-American systemic lupus erythematosus rates were observed in the West North Central and South Atlantic divisions, highest African-American multiple sclerosis rates in the South Atlantic and Pacific divisions, and highest Native American rheumatoid arthritis rates in the West North Central, Mountain, and Pacific divisions.

Conclusions: Substantial AID heterogeneity exists by race and by geographic area. An important research area is further exploring factors related to heterogeneity such as potential interactions between genetic susceptibility and environmental factors.

Keywords: Autoimmune disease; Minority groups; North American; Prevalence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / ethnology*
  • Black or African American
  • Female
  • Geography, Medical
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / epidemiology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / ethnology*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Ratio
  • United States / epidemiology
  • United States / ethnology