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July 1989

Giant-Cell Arteritis in the Southern United States: An 11-Year Retrospective Study From the Texas Gulf Coast

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine (Drs Gonzalez, Varner, Lisse, and Daniels), and the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health (Dr Hokanson), University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston. Dr Gonzalez is now with the Division of Rheumatology, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(7):1561-1565. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390070087012

• Giant-cell arteritis (GCA) and polymyalgia rheumatica are systemic disorders that reportedly affect primarily white women older than age 50 years. We conducted an 11-year chart review to determine the relative occurrence and pattern of demographic involvement of GCA in the Gulf Coast region of the United States. Of 101 239 computer-coded entries for individual patients aged 40 years or older, 60 charts listed GCA as a differential diagnosis. Twenty-seven patients had temporal GCA; 21 temporal artery biopsy specimens were identified. Two patients had associated systemic GCA (one with aortitis). A striking finding was that 13 of the 27 patients were black women (about 50% of the entire study population). The group with GCA and polymyalgia rheumatica (17 patients) had a significantly higher mean erythrocyte sedimentation rate than the group with "pure" GCA. Jaw claudication and blindness were rare. We concluded that temporal GCA seems relatively uncommon in the Gulf Coast region and in the southern United States as a whole. Furthermore, GCA seems rare in Hispanics (only one patient identified). Nonetheless, this is the first report to document a proportionally high occurrence of GCA in black patients in this part of the country.

(Arch Intern Med. 1989;149:1561-1565)

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