Background Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is one of the most common autoimmune disorders mainly affecting women of all ages. There are likely multiple genetic and environmental factors associated with differences in incidence and prevalence. These include ethnicity, gender, and geographic location. However, until now, most epidemiologic studies have been performed in the US and Europe, with less in Asia.
Objectives We aimed to estimate the prevalence and incidence of SLE in South Korea using the Korean National Health Insurance (NHI) Claims Database which is the system of universal mandatory health insurance of South Korea.
Methods On the basis of our previous validation study, the SLE patient was defined as the patient who had diagnostic code of SLE (M32) with any of history of hospitalization (1≤), simultaneous prescription of hydroxychloroquine and immunosuppressant (1≤), or had been taken complement test (C3&C4) or anti-dsDNA antibody test (2≤). Prevalence of SLE during 2006-2010 was calculated. Age and sex-specific annual incidence rates of SLE per 100,000 general population for the year 2008 and 2009 and their CI were calculated for ten-year age intervals.
Results The prevalence of SLE in South Korea was estimated to range from 20.6 in 2006 and 26.6 per 100,000 general population in 2010. Specifically, the prevalence of male was between 5.5 and 7.6 per 100,000 and that of female was between 35.9 and 45.6 per 100,000. The incidence rates of SLE in 2008 and 2009 were estimated as 2.6 and 2.8 per 100,000 in the general population of South Korea, respectively. The incidence of SLE peaks in the forth decade of life and female to male ratio during these years period is approximately 9:1.
Conclusions Data gathered nationwide through the NHI yielded estimates of SLE prevalence and incidence in South Korea. They are comparable to values for other countries in Europe and US.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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