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This article is part of the supplement: Lupus 2012: New targets, new approaches

Open Badges Meeting abstract

'MiLES' population-based survey of the incidence and prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus in Southeastern Michigan

EC Somers*, W Marder, P Cagnoli, EE Lewis, P DeGuire, C Gordon, CG Helmick, L Wang, JJ Wing, JP Dhar, J Liesen, WJ McCune and MiLES Group

  • * Corresponding author: EC Somers

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Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14(Suppl 3):A48  doi:10.1186/ar3982

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:27 September 2012

© 2012 Somers et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We estimated the incidence and prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in a sociodemographically diverse southeastern Michigan source population of 2.4 million.


SLE cases fulfilling American College of Rheumatology (ACR)SLE classification criteria (primary case definition) or rheumatologist-judged SLE (secondary definition) and residing in Wayne or Washtenaw Counties during 2002 to 2004 were included. Case finding was performed from six source types, including hospitals and private specialists. Age-standardized rates were computed and capture-recapture performed to estimate under-ascertainment of cases.


Overall age-adjusted SLE incidence and prevalence per 100,000 were 5.5 (95% CI = 5.0 to 6.1) and 72.4 (95% CI = 70.4 to 74.4); capture-recapture adjusted estimates were 5.6 (95% CI = 5.1 to 6.2) and 71.8 (95% CI = 69.8 to 73.8). For all women the incidence was 9.3/100,000; prevalence was 128/100,000. SLE prevalence was 2.4-fold higher in blacks than whites, and 10-fold higher in women than men. Among the incident cases (ACR definition), mean age (± SD) at diagnosis overall was 39.2 ± 16.6 years. Blacks had a higher proportion of renal disease and end-stage renal disease (40.3% and 15.1%) versus whites (18.7% and 4.5%); blacks with renal disease were diagnosed with SLE at significantly younger age (33.9 ± 15.0 vs. whites 41.9 ± 21.3, P = 0.04).