It is estimated that 1.5 million people in the United States have lupus or one in one thousand. Ninety percent of them are women usually in child bearing years. Most cases of lupus are diagnosed in women between the ages of 12 and 40. Non-Caucasians are 2 to 3 times more likely to have lupus than Caucasians.
In order to participate in a clinical trial for lupus, a diagnosis of lupus must be made via the American College of Rheumatology criteria.
The diagnosis of another type of lupus, discoid lupus, can be made when a person only has a patchy, round rash, and no other symptoms. Blood tests and a skin biopsy are helpful in making this diagnosis. People with discoid lupus may or may not progress to systemic lupus erythematosus.