The incidence of new cases of PMR occurring among individuals over the age of 50 is 52.5 cases per 100,000 persons per year (3). The prevalence of PMR is approximately 600 per 100,000 persons over the age of 50. It is principally a disease of Caucasians, although it does occur in persons of other ethnic backgrounds. Approximately 70% of cases are women.

GCA is the most frequent idiopathic vasculitis, with an incidence of approximately 18 new cases per 100,000 persons over the age of 50 per year (3). Its prevalence is approximately 200 cases per 100,000 persons over the age of 50. If viewed over decades, the incidence of GCA fluctuates in a cyclic pattern, suggesting an infectious etiology, although a specific infectious etiology has thus far not been demonstrated. Like PMR, the disease is most common in Caucasians, particularly those of Northern European origin, and it is more common in Northern Europe than in Southern Europe. The average age of onset is 73 years, and 70% of patients are women.

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