Incidence and prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus among the native Arab population in UAE

A. M. Al Dhanhani, M. Agarwal, Y. S. Othman, O. Bakoush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objectives There is a paucity of information about the epidemiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) amongst Arabs. The objective of this study was to determine the incidence and prevalence of SLE among the native Arab population of United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods Patients with SLE were identified from three sources: medical records of two local tertiary hospitals (four years; 2009 to 2012), laboratory requests for serum double stranded deoxyribonucleic acid and serum anti-nuclear antibody and confirmed histopathologic diagnosis of SLE (skin and kidney biopsy specimens). All the patients identified with SLE met the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology. Incidence and prevalence were calculated using the state records of the UAE native population as the denominator. The age-adjusted incidence was calculated by direct standardization using the World Health Organization world standard population 2000-2025. Results Sixteen new cases (13 females and three males) fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology SLE criteria. The mean (±SD) age at time of diagnosis was 28.6 ± 12.4 years. The crude incidence ratio (per 100,000 population) was 3.5, 1.1, 2.1 and 2.1 in years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, respectively. The age-standardized incidence per 100,000 population for the four years was 8.6 (95% confidence interval 4.2-15.9). The age-standardized prevalence of SLE among the native population according to the 2012 population consensus was 103/100,000 population (95% confidence interval 84.5-124.4). Conclusion The age-adjusted incidence and prevalence among UAE Arabs is higher than has been reported among most other Caucasian populations. Furthermore, the prevalence of SLE in UAE seems much higher than other similar Arab countries in the Gulf region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-669
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017


  • Incidence
  • UAE
  • prevalence
  • systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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