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Impact of age at diagnosis in polymyalgia rheumatica: A retrospective cohort study of 218 patients

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a common musculoskeletal inflammatory disease that may occur with giant-cell arteritis (GCA) or in an isolated form. While the incidence is highest in the elderly, there is a paucity of data on its presentation, clinical course and response to treatment in younger individuals. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of 40 patients who were diagnosed with isolated PMR under the age of 60 and 178 patients diagnosed above this age, taking into account clinical and laboratory data and treatment history. RESULTS: Patients who were diagnosed at a younger age had lower acute-phase reactant levels at diagnosis but not after initiation of treatment or at the time of relapse. The risk of relapse was lower in the group diagnosed under age 60 (35% vs 55%). Cumulative and maximal glucocorticoid doses, use of glucocorticoid-sparing agents and duration of glucocorticoid treatment, did not differ between the groups. In multivariate analysis, younger age at diagnosis was associated with cervical pain and male gender. CONCLUSION: Compared to patients diagnosed above age 60, patients diagnosed with PMR at a younger age have a lower risk of relapse, but similar long-term outcomes with regards to continued need for treatment.
Journal: Autoimmunity Reviews
ISSN: 1568-9972
Issue: 12
Volume: 19
Number of pages: 5
Publication year:2020