Who gets lupus?

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 women of European descent. It’s also more common in Hispanic American/Latina, Asian American, and Native American women.

Both African Americans and Hispanic Americans/Latinas 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 women of European descent. For example, African American patients have more seizures and strokes, while Hispanic American/Latina patients have more heart problems. We don’t understand why some people seem to have more problems with lupus than others.

Lupus is most common in women between the ages of 15 and 45. These are roughly the years when most women are able to have babies. Scientists think a woman’s hormones may have something to do with getting lupus. But it’s important to remember that men and older people can get it, too.

It’s less common for children under age 15 to have lupus. One exception is babies born to women with lupus. These children may have heart, liver, or skin problems caused by lupus. With good care, most women with lupus can have a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby.