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Lupus. 1995 Dec;4(6):450-3.

Special report: adjusted lupus prevalence. Results of a marketing study by the Lupus Foundation of America.

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  • 1Saint Lukes Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University, New York 10019, USA.


There are many estimates of the prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus. These range from a high of 1:245 to 1:1000 from numerous worldwide epidemiologic studies. In a departure from scientific procedure the Lupus Foundation of America recently completed an inexpensive marketing study which produced three findings. Firstly, that lupus awareness in the USA was about 86%, much higher than many other immunologic illnesses. Secondly, that many people have been told by their physicians that they have the lupus, and considering that data, that over 1.4 million people in the USA have the disease. Lastly, that the prevalence of the disease, by unsubstantiated claim, would be a very high 1 in 177 patients. The overall conclusion is that more people are being told that they have the disease lupus than previously expected. Self-reporting studies are notoriously inaccurate as the criteria for the disease are not verified, indicating that the numbers derived from this study may not be true.

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