Lupus Stats

How Many People Have Lupus (Lupus Prevalence)?

Previous Article Next Article

Pinpointing the number of people with lupus is no easy task.

Research and awareness about lupus are both limited. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, 72% of Americans aged 18-34 have either never heard of lupus or know little or nothing beyond the name. This is worrisome as that age demographic is at the highest risk for the disease. Failure to understand the symptoms of the disease may lead to lower rates of diagnosis — and more untreated people with the disease.

The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that 1.5 million Americans have some form of lupus.

At that prevalence, there would be 1 case of lupus for every 216 people in the United States. This estimate includes systemic lupus erythematosus, cutaneous lupus erythematosus, and drug-induced lupus erythematosus. It appears that the LFA is attempting to evaluate the actual prevalence of these diseases and is not simply considering the current diagnosis rate.


The National Institutes of Health estimated that 240,000 Americans are diagnosed with lupus.

That would be 1 case of lupus for every 1,350 people — nearly 7 times less common than the LFA estimate. Of note, the NIH number only examined SLE and people that had received a diagnosis. It is entirely possible that people are either unaware of their symptoms and do not pursue a diagnosis, or are struggling to receive a lupus diagnosis.


A study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology examined lupus prevalence among adults in California and Pennsylvania.

In California, the data revealed 1 case of lupus (SLE) for every 929 adults. And, in Pennsylvania, 1 case of lupus (SLE) for every 668 adults. Based on the typical age of onset of symptoms, the authors of the study suggest that adding children to the estimates would lower the prevalence by approximately 25%. These findings are in line with the NIH number regarding the number of people that have received a diagnosis and are being treated for care. And, this likely means that many people are living with undiagnosed lupus — though truly identifying that number may be difficult to discover.

dr mary crow-dr. crow-lupuscorner-interview-cover

Interferon, Lupus Research, & More: An Interview with Dr. Mary Crow

Calorie-restricted diet_Lupus_eating_Cover

Calorie-Restricted Diets, Healthy Eating, and Lupus

air quality-lupus-lupuscorner-lungs-cover

Air Quality and Lupus: Take a Deep Breath

home remedies-lupus-lupuscorner-cover

Home Remedies & OTC Treatments for Lupus

C-Reactive Protein_Lupus-lupuscorner_Cover

C-Reactive Protein Complement Test and Lupus

life insurance-lupus-lupuscorner-cover

Life Insurance and Lupus

tulip 2-lupuscorner-lupus-treatments-cover

TULIP 2 Phase III and Type 1 Interferon Lupus Treatments


Alcohol: Impacts on the Body & Risks with Lupus

Blood_Test_Lupus_cover-blood tests

Blood Tests for Diagnosing and Measuring Lupus

mortality rates-lupus-lupuscorner-treatment-cover2

Mortality Rates, Treatment Effectiveness, & Lupus

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lupus Stats

Mortality Rates, Treatment Effectiveness, & Lupus

Are new lupus treatment strategies keeping people healthier? A 42-year longitudinal study found improved...

Lupus Stats

Lupus Facts & Prevalence Statistics

You know you're not alone -- though it sure can feel like it sometimes. Let's...

Lupus Definition

Lupus Awareness, Selena Gomez, & Data

What does 127,000,000 Instagram followers do for lupus awareness? Quite a lot! Selena Gomez is...