Autoimmune disease is becoming a major health problem globally. According to increasing evidence, the prevalence and incident of autoimmune diseases are on a steady rise in the last decade.
Recent reports have indicated that autoimmune diseases collectively affect 5–10% of the developed world’s population. This under-recognized class of diseases is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in female children and women in all age groups up to 64 years of age.
Although accurate statistics on the global prevalence of autoimmune diseases in women are difficult to ascertain, they are considered a significant cause of chronic illness and death. It tends to affect women, as they are three times more likely to develop autoimmune disease than men.
Today researchers have identified 80-100 different autoimmune diseases and suspect at least 40 additional diseases of having an autoimmune basis, impacting almost every major organ system in the body.
These diseases are chronic and can be life-threatening. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an example of the most common autoimmune disease that affects women more than men, with a lifetime risk of 4% for women and 3% for men.
Men and women tend to differ in their basic immune response, with women producing a more active immune response and increased antibody production.