Giant cell arteritis in Asians: A comparative study

Luciano S. Pereira, Michael K. Yoon, Thomas N. Hwang, Jenny E. Hong, Kathyrn Ray, Travis Porco, Timothy J. McCulley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a common systemic vasculitis, with a presumed Caucasian predominance. The occurrence of GCA in Asians has rarely been addressed. This study aims to assess the incidence of giant cell arteritis in Asians. Methods: In this retrospective review, the self-reported ethnicities of patients with biopsy-proven GCA at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) were recorded. Ethnic distribution of the patient population served by UCSF was estimated from an age- and sex-matched control group. The odds ratio for each ethnicity (Asian and Caucasian) was determined and compared using Fisher's exact test and logistic regression analysis. Results: The ethnic distribution of the 38 patients with positive temporal artery biopsies were as follows: Caucasian n=31 (81.6%), Asian n=1 (2.6%) and other n=6 (15.8%). The ethnic distribution of the patient population served by UCSF was as follows: Caucasian 42%, Asian 28% and other 30%. The difference in the proportion of GCA in Asians and Caucasians was statistically significant (OR 0.049 (95% CI 0.0065 to 0.374), p=0.0036). Conclusions: In our patient population, GCA was seen 20 times less frequently in Asian than Caucasian patients. Although this difference is significantly different (p=0.036), given the small sample size and wide CI this should be viewed as a rough estimate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-216
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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