Effect of diabetes mellitus on giant cell arteritis

Anne S. Abel, Arseniy P. Yashkin, Frank A. Sloan, Michael S. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-138
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuro-Ophthalmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 30 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society.


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