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Lupus. 2006;15(11):715-9.

Ethnic and geographical differences in systemic lupus erythematosus: an overview.

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University Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is one of the most heterogeneous autoimmune disorders known. There is production of a variety of autoantibodies and patients present with a wide range of symptoms due to multiple organ involvement by the disease process. The underlying cause is not fully understood but it may involve genetic and environmental factors. It is interesting to note that while SLE is found worldwide, it is more commonly found in some countries, and within a country certain ethnic groups appear to be more susceptible to develop this condition than others. Additionally, the presentation and course of SLE appear highly variable between patients of different ethnic origins. For example, African-Americans and Orientals are believed to have a more severe disease than Caucasian whites. But are these ethnic and geographical differences real? If yes, they may provide investigators insight into the underlying pathoaetiology of this condition and pave the way to future research directions in lupus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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