A population-based case-control study of temporal arteritis: evidence for an association between temporal arteritis and degenerative vascular disease?

Int J Epidemiol. 1989 Dec;18(4):836-41. doi: 10.1093/ije/18.4.836.


The first population-based incident case-control study of temporal arteritis (TA) in the US was conducted using the unique data resources of the Rochester Epidemiology Project. During the period 1950-1985, 88 newly diagnosed cases of biopsy-proven TA were identified among residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota. Cases were each matched to four Olmsted County community controls on age, sex and duration of community medical record. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated for marital status, education, Quetelet index, pregnancy, age at menopause, thyroid disease, diabetes, smoking, hypertension, angina, myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease, and stroke. Multivariable conditional logistic regression analysis identified statistically significant adjusted OR for smoking (2.3, 95% CI = 1.3-4.1). Elevated ORs which were not statistically significant were noted for angina, myocardial infarction, and peripheral vascular disease. These data suggest that TA and arteriosclerosis may share a common causal pathway. Alternatively, histopathological misclassification of temporal artery biopsies may have resulted in the observed association. Due to the limited power of this population-based study, multicentre collaboration should be encouraged to more precisely define the epidemiology of TA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteriosclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Bias
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects