Effect of diabetes mellitus on giant cell arteritis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To determine if Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is protective against giant cell arteritis (GCA) and to estimate the incidence of GCA diagnosis from Medicare claims.


Medicare 5% claims files from 1991 to 2011 were used to identify beneficiaries diagnosed with DM, but not GCA, within a 3-year ascertainment period. Propensity score matching was used to define a control group of nondiabetics with comparable demographic covariates. Competing risk regression was then used to assess the impact of DM diagnosis on GCA diagnosis. To allow for a 3-year ascertainment period, the analysis sample was limited to beneficiaries older than 68 years at baseline.


A total of 151,041 beneficiaries diagnosed with DM were matched to an equal number of controls. Mean study follow-up was 67.75 months. GCA was diagnosed among 1116 beneficiaries with DM (0.73%) vs 465 (0.30%) controls. The risk of receiving a GCA diagnosis among patients with DM was increased by 100% (subhazard ratio, 2.00; 95% confidence interval, 1.78-2.25). The annual incidence of GCA diagnosis among claims for US Medicare beneficiaries older than 68 years old was 93 in 100,000.


A DM diagnosis is not protective against a GCA diagnosis in the Medicare population. Our data suggest that a DM diagnosis increases the risk of GCA diagnosis within 5.7 years for Medicare beneficiaries older than 68 years.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Abel, AS; Yashkin, AP; Sloan, FA; Lee, MS

Published Date

  • June 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 134 - 138

PubMed ID

  • 25602744

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4457371

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1536-5166

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1070-8022

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/wno.0000000000000218


  • eng