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Who gets vasculitis?

Vasculitis is uncommon. Overall, in every 100,000 people in the UK, only 10–15 will develop vasculitis each year. However, about 22 people per 100,000 aged over 50 years will develop giant cell arteritis (GCA)*. The different types of vasculitis tend to affect different age groups, for example:

  • GCA (temporal arteritis) is much more common in people over 50, and it's fairly common for it to be associated with a condition called polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR).
  • Takayasu arteritis (TA) tends to affect younger Asian women.
  • IgA vasculitis is much more common in children than in adults.
  • Kawasaki disease only affects children under five. 

*Smeeth L, Cook C, Hall AJ. Incidence of diagnosed polymyalgia rheumatica and temporal arteritis in the United Kingdom, 1990–2001. Ann Rheum Dis 2006;65:1093–8.

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