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Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2020 Jan 7. doi: 10.1002/acr.24133. [Epub ahead of print]

Incidence Trends and Mortality of Giant Cell Arteritis in Southern Norway.

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Division of Rheumatology, Department of Clinical Medicine, Sorlandet Hospital, Sorlandet sykehus HF, Postboks 416 Lundsiden, 4604, Kristiansand, Norway.
Oslo Centre of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Department of Rheumatology, Martina Hansens Hospital, Baerum, Norway.



Southern Norway consists of a homogenous population of nearly 300 000 inhabitants, and is ideal as an epidemiological setting. We aimed to explore for potential changes in incidence of giant cell arteritis (GCA) in Southern Norway from 2000-2013, with comparisons of previous reports from the same population cohort from 1987-1994 and 1992-1996, and to investigate the mortality rates of GCA over a period of 14 years.


All patients diagnosed with GCA during January 1, 2000 - December 31, 2013 were identified through the electronic and biopsy databases at our clinic. The diagnosis and information about death was confirmed by reviewing the patients' hospital records. Inclusion criteria were: i) Fulfillment of the American College of Rheumatology 1990 criteria for GCA, or, ii) histologically proven GCA, or, iii) confirmed arteritis of the large or medium sized vessels by imaging.


206 patients were included, 147 (72%) were females. The annual incidence rate of GCA per 100 000 inhabitants ≥ 50 years was 16.8 (95% CI 14.6, 19.2), 24.5 for females (19.2, 26.5), 10.2 for males (7.9, 13.2). 46 patients (22%) died (24 women, 22 men). The overall standardized mortality ratio was 1.05 (0.77, 1.38), 0.92 for females (CI 0.61, 1.35), 1.38 for males (0.88, 2.05). Overall survival was significantly higher in females compared to males (p < 0.001).


GCA incidence is not increasing. We did not find excess mortality, however, males seem to have poorer survival compared to females.


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