To evaluate the annual incidence of Takayasu's arteritis (TA) in eastern Denmark and to describe the clinical course of Danish TA patients.
All patients living in the eastern part of Denmark and registered with a first-time hospital discharge diagnosis of TA between 1990 and 2009 were identified. The TA diagnoses of the identified patients were confirmed by medical records review.
A total of 19 TA patients (3 males and 16 females) were included in the study. Two patients were of Asian origin, while 17 were Caucasians. The median patient age at the time of the TA diagnosis was 36 years (range: 19-66 years), and the median time interval between the onset of symptoms attributable to TA and the diagnosis of the disease was 11 months (range: 1-50 months). The estimated mean annual incidence of TA was 0.4 (95% CI: 0.25-0.62) per million. No deaths occurred during a median follow-up period of 11.5 years (range: 0.5-19.5 years). Eleven patients (58%) experienced one or more serious vascular events due to TA. Among these, eight patients developed their vascular complications before the vasculitis diagnosis was established.
In the current cohort, serious vascular events affected a large proportion of patients before the TA diagnosis was made or during follow-up. The incidence of TA in Denmark seems to be comparable to the incidence in other regions of Europe.