Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)



SLE is the most common form of lupus in which the immune system attacks its own healthy tissues resulting in widespread inflammation and tissue damage of joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels.

Common Symptoms

Skin rashes, fatigue, low fevers, pain or swelling of the joints, lung problems, kidney problems, and heart problems.

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

Lupus nephritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, Sjögren’s syndrome, vascular disease, Graves disease, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Risk Factors and Prevalence

SLE has a greater risk of occurring in females, with a 9:1 female to male ratio of disease incidence. Age is another risk factor, with diagnosis most commonly occurring between the ages of 15 and 44. Studies have also shown a greater prevalence of SLE among Blacks, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian populations.


  1. Article Sources
    1. Barbhaiya, M., Feldman, C. H., Guan, H., Gómez-Puerta, J. A., Fischer, M. A., Solomon, D. H., Everett, B., & Costenbader, K. H. (2017). Race/Ethnicity and Cardiovascular Events Among Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Arthritis & Rheumatology, 69(9), 1823–1831.

    2. Rose, N. R., & Mackay, I. R. (2020). The Autoimmune Diseases (6th ed., pp. 1086-1087). Academic Press.

    3. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) | CDC. (2018, October 18).

    4. Weckerle, C. E., & Niewold, T. B. (2011). The Unexplained Female Predominance of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Clues from Genetic and Cytokine Studies. Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology, 40(1), 42–49.