Immune 4


There may be striking  ethnic/racial predispositions to autoimmune disease. For example, SLE is about three times more prevalent in individuals of African, Asian or Latin ancestry, whereas Sjogren’s syndrome and multiple sclerosis are more prevalent in those of Europian ancestry. The racial/ethnic differences are likely to reflect differences  in the frequencies  of disease susceptibility genes. The costs of these disorders to society are enormous. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects 2.1 millions Americans (1.5 millions women and 600,000 men) at an annual cost of about  $6,000 per patient (direct medical costs and indirect costs such as absence from work). Lupus affects 500,000 Americans at an estimated annual cost of $13,000 per patient, a total %6,5 billion per year

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