Incidence rates of systemic lupus erythematosus in the USA: estimates from a meta-analysis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national lupus registries

Lupus Sci Med. 2021 Dec;8(1):e000614. doi: 10.1136/lupus-2021-000614.


Objective: To estimate the annual incidence rate of SLE in the USA.

Methods: A meta-analysis used sex/race/ethnicity-specific data spanning 2002-2009 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention network of four population-based state registries to estimate the incidence rates. SLE was defined as fulfilling the 1997 revised American College of Rheumatology classification criteria. Given heterogeneity across sites, a random effects model was employed. Applying sex/race/ethnicity-stratified rates, including data from the Indian Health Service registry, to the 2018 US Census population generated estimates of newly diagnosed SLE cases.

Results: The pooled incidence rate per 100 000 person-years was 5.1 (95% CI 4.6 to 5.6), higher in females than in males (8.7 vs 1.2), and highest among black females (15.9), followed by Asian/Pacific Islander (7.6), Hispanic (6.8) and white (5.7) females. Male incidence was highest in black males (2.4), followed by Hispanic (0.9), white (0.8) and Asian/Pacific Islander (0.4) males. The American Indian/Alaska Native population had the second highest race-specific SLE estimates for females (10.4 per 100 000) and highest for males (3.8 per 100 000). In 2018, an estimated 14 263 persons (95% CI 11 563 to 17 735) were newly diagnosed with SLE in the USA.

Conclusions: A network of population-based SLE registries provided estimates of SLE incidence rates and numbers diagnosed in the USA.

Keywords: autoimmune diseases; epidemiology; systemic lupus erythematosus.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic* / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Registries
  • United States / epidemiology