One in Ten Affected by Autoimmune Disease Says New Study of 22+ Million People
A new population-based cohort study conducted in the United Kingdom has shed light on the incidence, prevalence, and co-occurrence of autoimmune disorders. The study followed 22,009,375 individuals in the UK between January 2000 and June 2019 and analyzed their health records to identify 19 of the most common autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. The team found that together these 19 autoimmune diseases affect about 10% of the population –13% of women and 7% of men, which is higher than previous estimates ranging from 3% to 9% (often relying on smaller sample sizes and including fewer autoimmune conditions).
The researchers also highlighted socioeconomic, seasonal, and regional differences for several autoimmune disorders and provide new insights into possible causes behind these diseases. Overall, this study provides important insights into the changing epidemiology of autoimmune diseases, highlighting the need for further research into the underlying mechanisms and risk factors contributing to the development of these conditions. The findings also have important implications for healthcare policy and resource allocation, particularly in the context of increasing rates of autoimmune diseases and socioeconomic disparities in disease incidence and prevalence.