Epidemiology and mortality in 220 patients with polymyalgia rheumatica

Br J Rheumatol. 1995 Mar;34(3):261-4. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/34.3.261.


Between 1985 and 1987 a total of 521 people underwent temporal artery biopsy with no histological evidence of arteritis in Göteborg, Sweden. Two-hundred-and-twenty people were diagnosed as having polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). Among the patients without PMR 30% had rheumatic, 17% malignant and 14% infectious disorders. The annual incidence of PMR with negative biopsy was 17/100,000 and for the population over 50 yr it was 50/100,000. We found an increased mortality in vascular diseases among men with PMR in the first 2 yr after diagnosis with 13 observed deaths compared to the expected six (P < 0.01). There was also a tendency toward an increased mortality among the women with 16 observed deaths compared to the expected 11 (not statistically significant). The mortality in malignant diseases was not increased.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica / epidemiology*
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica / mortality
  • Sex Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology