Negative associations for fasting blood glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels with the development of giant cell arteritis

Karin Wadström, Lennart Jacobsson, Aladdin J. Mohammad, Kenneth J. Warrington, Eric L. Matteson, Carl Turesson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives. To investigate metabolic features that may predispose to GCA in a nested case-control study. Methods. Individuals who developed GCA after inclusion in a population-based health survey (the Malmö Preventive Medicine Project; N ¼ 33 346) were identified and validated through a structured review of medical records. Four controls for every validated case were selected from the database. Results. A total of 76 cases with a confirmed incident diagnosis of GCA (61% female, 65% biopsy positive, mean age at diagnosis 70 years) were identified. The median time from screening to diagnosis was 20.7 years (range 3.0-32.1). Cases had significantly lower fasting blood glucose (FBG) at baseline screening compared with controls [mean 4.7 vs 5.1 mmol/l (S.D. overall 1.5), odds ratio (OR) 0.35 per mmol/l (95% CI 0.17, 0.71)] and the association remained significant when adjusted for smoking [OR 0.33 per mmol/l (95% CI 0.16, 0.68)]. Current smokers had a reduced risk of GCA [OR 0.35 (95% CI 0.18, 0.70)]. Both cholesterol [mean 5.6 vs 6.0 mmol/l (S.D. overall 1.0)] and triglyceride levels [median 1.0 vs 1.2 mmol/l (S.D. overall 0.8)] were lower among the cases at baseline screening, with significant negative associations with subsequent GCA in crude and smoking-adjusted models [OR 0.62 per mmol/l (95% CI 0.43, 0.90) for cholesterol; 0.46 per mmol/l (95% CI 0.27, 0.81) for triglycerides]. Conclusion. Development of GCA was associated with lower FBG and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels at baseline, all adjusted for current smoking, suggesting that metabolic features predispose to GCA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3229-3236
Number of pages8
JournalRheumatology (United Kingdom)
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Epidemiology
  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Lipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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