The incidence and predictors of solid-and hematological malignancies in patients with giant cell arteritis: A large real-world database study

Lior Dar*, Niv Ben-Shabat, Shmuel Tiosano, Abdulla Watad, Dennis McGonagle, Doron Komaneshter, Arnon Cohen, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, Howard Amital

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The association between giant cell arteritis (GCA) and malignancies had been widely investigated with studies reporting conflicting results. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to investigate this association using a large nationwide electronic database. Methods: This study was designed as a retrospective cohort study including GCA patients first diagnosed between 2002–2017 and age, sex and enrollment time-matched controls. Follow-up began at the date of first GCA-diagnosis and continued until first diagnosis of malignancy, death or end of study follow-up. Results: The study enrolled 7213 GCA patients and 32,987 age-and sex-matched controls. The mean age of GCA diagnosis was 72.3 (SD 9.9) years and 69.1% were women. During the follow-up period, 659 (9.1%) of GCA patients were diagnosed with solid malignancies and 144 (2.0%) were diagnosed with hematologic malignancies. In cox-multivariate-analysis the risk of solid-malignancies (HR = 1.12 [95%CI: 1.02–1.22]), specifically renal neoplasms (HR = 1.60 [95%CI: 1.15–2.23]) and sarcomas (HR = 2.14 [95%CI: 1.41–3.24]), and the risk of hematologic malignancies (HR = 2.02 [95%CI: 1.66–2.47]), specifically acute leukemias (HR = 1.81 [95%CI: 1.06–3.07]), chronic leukemias (HR = 1.82 [95%CI: 1.19–2.77]), Hodgkin’s lymphomas (HR = 2.42 [95%CI: 1.12–5.20]), non-Hodgkin’s-lymphomas (HR = 1.66: [95%CI 1.21–2.29]) and multiple myeloma(HR = 2.40 [95%CI: 1.63–3.53]) were significantly increased in GCA patients compared to controls. Older age at GCA-diagnosis (HR = 1.36 [95%CI: 1.25–1.47]), male-gender (HR = 1.46 [95%CI: 1.24–1.72]), smoking (HR = 1.25 [95%CI: 1.04– 1.51]) and medium-high socioeconomic status (HR = 1.27 [95%CI: 1.07–1.50]) were independently associated with solid malignancy while age (HR = 1.47 [95%CI: 1.22–1.77]) and male-gender (HR = 1.61 [95%CI: 1.14–2.29]) alone were independently associated with hematologic-malignancies. Conclusion: our study demonstrated higher incidence of hematologic and solid malignancies in GCA patients. Specifically, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, kidney malignancies, and sarcomas. Age and male gender were independent risk factors for hematological malignancies among GCA patients, while for solid malignancies, smoking and SES were risk factors as well.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7595
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2021


FundersFunder number
ST) for medical research and innovation in Israel
Israel Cancer Association


    • Autoinflammation
    • Giant cell arteritis
    • Malignancy
    • Temporal arteritis
    • Vasculitis


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