Understanding lupus

What are the risk factors for developing lupus?

Sex

More than 90 percent of people with lupus are women.

Age

Symptoms and diagnosis occur most often when women are in their childbearing years, between the ages of 15 and 44. Symptoms of lupus will occur before age 18 in 15 percent of the people who are later diagnosed with the disease.

Race

In the United States, lupus is more common in people of color–African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders–than in the Caucasian population. It also appears that lupus develops at an earlier age and is more severe among members of these ethnic groups.

Family History

Relatives of people with lupus have an approximately 5-13 percent chance of developing lupus. However, only about 5 percent of children will develop lupus if their mother has lupus.

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