While lupus can occur at any age and in either sex, 90 percent of those living with lupus are female. Women are often diagnosed during the childbearing years, between the ages of 15 and 45. African Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans have a higher risk for lupus. However, it can affect any ethnic group.
Although 10 percent of those with lupus are male, there is little information about why men get lupus. Some studies have found that after the age of 50, the percentage of women with lupus falls to 75 percent and the percentage of men with lupus increases to 25 percent.
Lupus can also affect children. It usually occurs at the age of 15 and older, however it can be diagnosed at any age. Children with lupus can have a large degree of kidney involvement. Severity of kidney involvement can alter the survival rate of people with lupus.
In rare cases, the newborn of a mom with lupus may have neonatal lupus. This condition can cause skin rashes, anemia or liver problems. Symptoms usually go away after a few months and don’t cause permanent damage. Some babies with neonatal lupus can be born with a serious heart defect. About 5 percent of the children born to individuals with lupus will develop the illness.