The Epidemiology of Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Autoantibody-Associated Vasculitis in Olmsted County, Minnesota: A Twenty-Year US Population-Based Study

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017 Dec;69(12):2338-2350. doi: 10.1002/art.40313. Epub 2017 Nov 9.


Objective: To estimate the annual incidence, prevalence, and mortality of antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV) and its subsets, granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's) (GPA), microscopic polyangiitis (MPA), and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss) (EGPA), in a US-based adult population.

Methods: All medical records of patients with a diagnosis of, or suspicion of having, AAV in Olmsted County, Minnesota from January 1, 1996 to December 31, 2015 were reviewed. AAV incidence rates were age- and sex-adjusted to the 2010 US white population. Age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of AAV was calculated on January 1, 2015. Survival rates observed in the study cohort were compared with expected rates in the Minnesota population.

Results: Of the 58 incident cases of AAV in Olmsted County during the study period, 23 (40%) were cases of GPA, 28 (48%) were cases of MPA, and 7 (12%) were cases of EGPA. Overall, 28 (48%) of the patients with AAV were women and 57 (98%) were white. The mean ± SD age at diagnosis was 61.1 ± 16.5 years. Thirty-four patients (61%) had myeloperoxidase (MPO)-ANCAs, and 17 (30%) were positive for proteinase 3 (PR3)-ANCAs; 5 (9%) were ANCA-negative. The annual incidence of AAV was 3.3 per 100,000 population (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 2.4-4.1). The incidence rates of GPA, MPA, and EGPA were 1.3 (95% CI 0.8-1.8), 1.6 (95% CI 1.0-2.2), and 0.4 (95% CI 0.1-0.6), respectively. The overall prevalence of AAV was 42.1 per 100,000 (95% CI 29.6-54.6). The mortality rate among AAV patients overall, and among patients with EGPA, those with MPA, and those with MPO-ANCAs, was increased in comparison to the Minnesota general population (each P < 0.05), whereas mortality rates among patients with GPA, those with PR3-ANCAs, and ANCA-negative patients did not differ from that in the general population.

Conclusion: The annual incidence of AAV in Olmsted County, Minnesota over the 20 years of the study was 3.3 per 100,000, with a prevalence of 42.1 per 100,000, which is substantially higher than the rates reported in other areas worldwide. The incidence of GPA was similar to that of MPA. Patients with MPA and those with EGPA, but not patients with GPA, experienced higher rates of mortality than that in the Minnesota general population. MPO-ANCAs were a marker of poor survival in this population of patients with AAV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis / immunology
  • Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis / mortality*
  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic / immunology
  • Churg-Strauss Syndrome / immunology
  • Churg-Strauss Syndrome / mortality*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis / immunology
  • Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Microscopic Polyangiitis / immunology
  • Microscopic Polyangiitis / mortality*
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Myeloblastin / analysis
  • Peroxidase / analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic
  • Peroxidase
  • Myeloblastin