Epidemiology of polymyalgia rheumatica in olmsted county, minnesota, 1970–1991

Authors

  • Carlo Salvarani MD,

    1. Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Salvarani's current address is Arcispedale S. Maria Nuova, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
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  • Sherine E. Gabriel MD, MSc,

    Corresponding author
    1. Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Salvarani's current address is Arcispedale S. Maria Nuova, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
    • Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905
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  • W. Michael O'Fallon PhD,

    1. Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Salvarani's current address is Arcispedale S. Maria Nuova, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
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  • Gene G. Hunder MD

    1. Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Salvarani's current address is Arcispedale S. Maria Nuova, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
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Abstract

Objective. To determine the incidence, prevalence, and survival of polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) over a 22-year period in Olmsted County, Minnesota.

Methods. Using the unified record system at the Mayo Clinic for the Olmsted County population, we reviewed all medical records with a diagnosis of PMR from 1970 through 1991.

Results. There were 245 (173 female; 72 male) incidence cases of PMR between 1970 and 1991. The average annual age- and sex-adjusted incidence of PMR per 100,000 population ≥ 50 years was 52.5 (95% confidence interval [CI] 45.9–59.2), with a significantly higher incidence in females (61.7; 95% CI 52.3–71.2) than in males (39.9; 95% CI 30.7–49.2). The incidence varied over the period of observation, but no significant trends were found. The prevalence of PMR among persons ≥ 50 years on January 1, 1992 was 6/1,000. There was a small but significantly increased survival rate among male PMR patients compared with the general population.

Conclusion. Our data demonstrate that PMR is a common nonfatal disease in the elderly, the incidence and clinical manifestations of which have varied but remained relatively stable over the last 2 decades.

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