Lupus statistics and facts



  • It is thought that in the UK around 50,000 people have a form of lupus. That is equal to around 1 in 1000 people. Worldwide the number of people with lupus is estimated to be around 5 million people.


  • Lupus is most commonly found in women that are at the childbearing age. Although lupus can affect men it is nine times more likely to affect a woman.


  • The symptoms that are associated with lupus can be different for everyone. Some people experience no symptoms, other may has a rash and sensitivity to light, whereas others may have problems with their kidneys and severe joint pain.


  • It is estimated that 1 in 3 people with lupus will also have another autoimmune condition.


  • Recent research has shown that women with a black background are 2-3 time more likely to be affected by lupus. The exact cause of this increased risk is unknown; however, it is thought to be linked to genes.


  • The word lupus comes from the Latin word for wolf. In the 13th century people compared the facial rashes to a bite from a wolf.


  • It was once estimated that around 10-15% of people diagnosed with lupus would die prematurely. Fortunately, with better treatments available most people diagnosed with lupus will go on to live a normal life span.


  • Around 65% of lupus patients say that the chronic pain is the most difficult aspect of the condition.


  • Around 20% of patients will have a close relative (sibling or parent) that also has lupus. Of those that do not a have close relative with lupus, it is likely that another relative will have an autoimmune disease.


  • Lots of people that have been diagnosed will lupus, will have had a misdiagnosis before. Lupus gets its name ‘the great imitator’ from being notoriously hard to diagnose.


This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.


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