Objective: To establish the point prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) on January 1, 1992, and the incidence of SLE during 1991, in Birmingham, England, a large city with a broad ethnic mix.
Methods: Six sources were used to ascertain patients with diagnosed SLE, including notification by attending and primary care physicians, the lupus patient support group, and hospital inpatient and laboratory data.
Results: There were 242 SLE patients (227 females, 15 males) identified: prevalence rate 27.7/100,000 (95% confidence interval 24.2-31.2/100,000) in the population and 206.0/100,000 in Afro-Caribbean females. No significant differences in female ethnic prevalence rates by place of birth were observed. Thirty-three patients developed SLE in 1991: incidence rate 3.8/100,000/year (95% confidence interval 2.5-5.1/100,000/year).
Conclusion: This study illustrates dramatic differences in incidence and prevalence rates in the UK, depending on ethnic group and irrespective of place of birth.