Lupus among Hispanic and Asian Persons
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that triggers inflammation in different tissues of the body. The severity of lupus can range from mild to life threatening. According to studies supported by CDC, Hispanic women and Asian women are more likely to be affected by the disease compared with White women.
Signs and Symptoms of Lupus
Lupus can affect people of all ages. However, women of childbearing age — 15 to 44 —are at greatest risk of developing the disease. Men are at lower risk.
People with lupus can have many different symptoms. Some people with the disease may have fatigue, pain or swelling in joints, skin rashes, and fevers. Additional symptoms can include sun sensitivity, mouth ulcers, arthritis, lung problems, heart problems, kidney problems, seizures, psychosis, and blood cell and immunological problems.
People with the disease may have a period of lupus symptoms every so often (called flares), sometimes even years apart, that go away at other times (called remission). They may have these flares often throughout their life.
Estimating Who Has Lupus
To find out how common lupus is and how often it develops in different racial and ethnic groups, CDC supported five population-based lupus patient registries, which collected information on people who have been diagnosed with the disease. Researchers in Georgia, Michigan, and the Indian Health Service have published results on White, Black, and American Indian/Alaska Native people.
Researchers in New York City and San Francisco were funded later to estimate how many Hispanic and Asian women and men have lupus.
These studies found that non-Hispanic Asian women and Hispanic women (of any race) are more likely to be affected by lupus, compared with non-Hispanic White women.
Data from these registries also confirmed an increase in lupus diagnoses among Black women, as demonstrated through previous lupus studies.
Lupus symptoms can include fatigue, pain or swelling in joints, skin rashes, and fevers.
The New York City and San Francisco studies also show that lupus-related kidney disease (lupus nephritis) — which can be fatal — appears to be more common among non-Hispanic Asian people and Hispanic people (of any race) compared with non-Hispanic White people.
These are the first population-based registries in the United States with enough Hispanic and Asian people to measure the number of people with diagnosed lupus.