The prevalence and incidence of systemic lupus erythematosus in Birmingham, England



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.