Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) affects elderly patients and is characterized by pain and stiffness of the shoulder girdle, pelvic girdle and cervical region, which can be associated with the presence of giant cell arteritis. Data on the epidemiology of this disease in Latin America are scarce. In Colombia, the Ministry of Health introduced SISPRO, a tool to collect nation-wide information from the health system. The information collected from SISPRO is available for scientific analysis. Using SISPRO data for the years 2012-2016, an analysis was made on the prevalence and characteristics of patients diagnosed with PMR. This is a descriptive epidemiological study using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems as search terms related to PMR, based on SISPRO data. Criteria for diagnosis are not explicitly addressed in each individual case. National records report 19,901 individuals diagnosed with PMR and estimated prevalence of 2 cases per 1000 inhabitants over 50 years old (based on a total population of 47,663,162), being more frequent in women (86% of cases), with a female/male ratio of 6.2:1. This is the first study that describes the demographic characteristics of PMR in Colombia. Our results are consistent with the age-related increase in prevalence and gender ratio. Likewise, there are differences between regions, which may be related to ancestry and environmental factors, which require further studies.
Keywords: Colombia; Epidemiology; Latin America; Polymyalgia rheumatica; Registries.