68. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Authors: MD Edoardo Baglivo, MD Camillo Ribi
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic inflammatory disorder with a wide range of clinical manifestations and profound immunologic disturbances. It is characterized by the production of large quantities of autoantibodies. Its causes remain unknown. About 90 % of SLE patients are women, predominantly of childbearing age. The reported prevalence in the population ranges from 20 to 150 cases per 100,000. Geographic, ethnic, and socioeconomic factors influence disease frequency and expression. SLE generally appears to be more frequent and more severe in people of African and Asian descent. Estimated incidence ranges from 1 to 10 per 100,000 person-years. Incidence rates have increased in the past decades, probably due to improvements in diagnosis.