For Women: Pregnancy and Hormones
Anyone can get lupus. But 9 out of 10 people who have it are women. African American women are three times more likely to get lupus than Caucasian women. It’s also more common in Hispanic/Latino, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawiian and Native Alaskan women.
Both African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos tend to develop lupus at a younger age and have more symptoms at diagnosis (including kidney problems).
They also tend to have more severe disease than Caucasians. For example, African American patients have more seizures and strokes, while Hispanic/Latino patients have more heart problems. We don’t understand why some people seem to have more problems with lupus than others.
Lupus develops among women mostly during their childbearing years, between ages 15 and 45. About eight of every ten new cases of lupus develop among women in this age group. However, men and women of all ages, as well as children and older people, do develop lupus. Lupus is not exclusively a disease of young women so everyone needs to be aware of the early warning signs of lupus.