Understanding lupus

Is lupus more common in certain parts of the U.S.?

Dr. Glinda Cooper is a Senior Epidemiologist at the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and a member of Lupus Foundation of America’s Medical-Scientific Advisory Council Research Subcommittee.

See all of Glinda Cooper, PhD's answers.

There have been few studies examining geographic patterns of lupus in the United States or in other parts of the world, so we do not have a basis for drawing conclusions about whether or not lupus more common in certain locations. The limited information available indicates that many different (but possibly inter-related) factors that affect people living in a given area need to be considered, such as degree of urbanization, types of industrial or agricultural activities, ethnicity, degree of poverty, and access to medical care, as well as environmental exposures such as the amount of sunlight (ultraviolet radiation) or amount of specific kinds of air pollutants. More research aimed at understanding how each of these kinds of factors affect the incidence of lupus, and its severity and prognosis, is needed.

Medically reviewed on July 21, 2013