Ankylosing Spondylitis Reduces Health-related Quality of Life

Patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) may have a poorer health-related quality of life (HRQoL), a new study has found.

Previous research has found that AS often impairs physical function. In the present study, researchers used the Short Form-36 (SF-36) to analyze AS patients, comparing these results to spinal radiographic changes, physical function, disease activity and demographic data overall.

A total of 210 AS patients (median age, 49 years; 57.6% were men; median symptom duration, 24 years) were included; each patient was matched with five age-matched and sex-matched controls (n = 1,055). AS patients had significantly lower SF-36 scores in both the physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS): PCS 42.4 in AS versus 52.4 in controls and MCS 47.9 in AS versus 54.1 in controls.

In multivariable logistic regression analyses, researchers observed worse PCS in patients who lived without a partner (OR 2.38, 95% CI 1.00–5.67), had long symptom duration (year in decade OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.16–2.37), had higher Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.46–2.70), and had Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS) ≥ 2.1 (OR 3.32, 95% CI 1.45–7.62). Patients who lived without a partner, (OR 3.04, 95% CI 1.34–6.91), with fatigue (visual analogue scale for global fatigue greater than the median (OR 6.36, 95% CI 3.06–13.19) and with ASDAS ≥ 2.1 (OR 2.97, 95% CI 1.41–6.25) had worse MCS.

The researchers noted that some of their findings associated with worsening HRQoL were modifiable.

“Even though our study is cross-sectional, and thus not able to show causality, by using these variables as a guide, patients may be treated more efficiently, leading to reduction in disease activity, pain and fatigue, thus potentially improving both the PCS and MCS scores as has been shown in some clinical trials,” they wrote, adding, “By modifying factors such as ASDAS-CRP and fatigue, HRQoL may potentially be improved.”

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Source: Arthritis Research & Therapy