The Burden of Ankylosing Spondylitis
ANNELIES BOONEN and SJEF M. van der LINDEN
The acute as well as chronic clinical features of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) are a burden to the patient and society. Apart from the axial and articular manifestations, extraarticular AS-related comorbidities such as uveitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis contribute to the burden of the disease. In addition, a large proportion of patients have osteoporosis or osteopenia, which may be associated with fractures and contribute to kyphosis. All these features result in decreased quality of life. Moreover, patients with AS have an increased mortality rate. The impact of this disease also can be seen in various aspects of workforce participation, from requiring more assistance at paid work to withdrawal from the workforce. Further, patients with AS and, subsequently, society are affected by substantial healthcare costs related to medications and healthcare provider expenses. Early diagnosis and management of patients will likely prevent functional disability and improve patient outcomes. (J Rheumatol 2006;33 Suppl 78:4-11)
Key Indexing Terms:
COST OF ILLNESS
From the Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University Hospital Maastricht, and CAPHRI Research Institute, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Funding for this supplement was provided by Amgen Inc. and Wyeth Research.
A. Boonen, MD, PhD; S.M. van der Linden, MD, PhD, Professor of Rheumatology.
Address reprint requests to Dr. A. Boonen, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University Hospital Maastricht, PO Box 5800, Nl-6202 Az Maastricht, The Netherlands. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org