Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Risk: The Role of Environmental Factors

Jia Li Liu, Jennifer M.P. Woo, Christine G. Parks, Karen H. Costenbader, Søren Jacobsen, Sasha Bernatsky*

*Corresponding author for this work


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex, chronic autoimmune disease. The etiology of SLE is multifactorial and includes potential environmental triggers, which may occur sequentially (the "multi-hit" hypothesis). This review focuses on SLE risk potentially associated with environmental factors including infections, the microbiome, diet, respirable exposures (eg, crystalline silica, smoking, air pollution), organic pollutants, heavy metals, and ultraviolet radiation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRheumatic Disease Clinics of North America
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)827-843
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Environmental triggers
  • Infections
  • Microbiome
  • Pollution
  • Smoking
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

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