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Autoimmune Disease

No one is sure what causes autoimmune disease. In most cases, a combination of factors is probably at work. Advances in research suggest that a genetic predisposition to develop an autoimmune disease is triggered by exposure to an environmental factor like bacteria, viruses or toxins. The prevalence of autoimmune disease is increasing worldwide.

Autoimmune Disease

  • 50 million Americans, or 20% of the U.S. population, have an autoimmune disease. Almost 75% are women.
  • An estimated 4% of people worldwide have an autoimmune disease.

There are more than 100 identified autoimmune conditions that affect any system of the body.

The top 7 autoimmune disorders in terms of prevalence are:

  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Lupus
  • Crohn’s/Colitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Scleroderma

In the U.S.:

  • Autoimmunity is the second highest cause of chronic illness in the United States.
  • As a whole, autoimmune diseases represent one of the top 10 leading causes of death in girls and women up to age 65.
  • The direct annual cost of autoimmune disease treatment does not take into consideration the indirect cost of care and loss to society – under or unemployment, disability, loss of family income and the financial and emotional burden of caregiving.