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Changing worldwide epidemiology of systemic lupus erythematosus

Author(s): Vasudevan A, Krishnamurthy AN

Abstract

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been reported from most countries around the world. Epidemiologic studies have detailed worldwide SLE incidence and prevalence, along with the effects of gender, race, and age on presentation and mortality.1,2 It is known that developed countries, which have a high gross domestic product (GDP), have significantly better survival rates than developing countries, defined as those having lower economic performances.3 However, this does not explain differences in SLE outcomes among countries of varying GDPs, which are in part due to factors such as access to health care, physician availability, educational level, and treatment compliance. The human development index (HDI) provides a more threedimensional view of life, by addressing the previously mentioned factors. The HDI accounts not just for standard of living (an indirect marker of GDP), but also literacy rates (a measure of educational levels), and life expectancy (an index of a population’s quality of health and access to health care).

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