Unfortunately, exactly what causes lupus isn’t known. Scientists believe it’s triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as medications, infections and stress. They also believe that there is a link between the female hormone estrogen and lupus.
Who’s at the highest risk of developing lupus?
We do know who has a stronger chance of developing lupus:
Gender: Even though anyone can get lupus, it most often affects women. They’re nine to ten times more likely than men to develop it.
Age: Lupus can occur at any age, but most are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s.
Race: Lupus is two to three times more common in African-American women than in Caucasian women. It’s also more common in Hispanic, Asian, and Native American women. African-American and Hispanic women are more likely to have severe forms of lupus.
Family history: Relatives of people with lupus have a greater chance of developing lupus. Only about 2 percent of children whose mothers have lupus will develop it.
More Information About Lupus in the Health Library