Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is an autoimmune condition and the most common systemic vasculitis in adults.1 Its prevalence is just as common in patients of any racial background, according to newly published JAMA Ophthalmology report. The study also found that GCA is more common in women than men.2

The investigators reviewed the records of 586 Johns Hopkins patients who underwent temporal artery biopsy from July 2007 through September 2017. They divided the records into groups according to race and gender. The participants included 167 (28.5%) black subjects, 382 (65.2%) Caucasians and 37 (6.3%) subjects of another race. Also, of the total, 163 (27.8%) were male and 423 (72.2%) were female.

Among the 573 individuals who were 50 or older, 92 (16.1%) had biopsy-proven GCA. Of those, 14 were black (representing 8.4% of all black patients) and 75 were Caucasian (19.6% of all Caucasian patients). Population-adjusted age- and sex-standardized incidence rates were 3.1 for patients who were black and 3.6 for Caucasian patients, a statistically insignificant difference. The incidence rate ratio was 1.9 in women compared with men.2  

1. Biousse V, Newman NJ. Ischemic optic neuropathies. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(25):2428-36. 

2. Gruener A, Poostchi A, Carey A, et al. Association of giant cell arteritis with race. JAMA Ophthalmology. August 8, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].