Experts don't know exactly how common ankylosing
spondylitis is, because the condition is often not diagnosed. The prevalence
(how common it is) differs among groups of people.
spondylitis is more common in men than in women. It is often found in certain
ethnic groups, such as Inuits of Alaska and Siberia. It is much less common in
people whose family is Japanese or African.1
A diagnosis of arthritis is the first step toward successful treatment. To diagnose arthritis, your doctor will consider your symptoms, perform a physical exam to check for swollen joints or loss of motion, and use blood tests and X-rays to confirm the diagnosis. X-rays and blood tests also help distinguish the type of arthritis you have. For example, most people with rheumatoid arthritis have antibodies called rheumatoid factors (RF) in their blood, although RF may also be present in other disorders...
The only clear risk factor for ankylosing spondylitis is having a close
family member who has the condition. About 15 to 20 out of 100 people with ankylosing
spondylitis have at least one family member who has it.1 Having a gene known as HLA-B27 and having frequent infections
of the gastrointestinal system (stomach and other organs of digestion) may also
increase your risk.
Arnett FC (2008). Seronegative spondyloarthritis. In
DC Dale, DD Federman, eds., ACP Medicine, section 15,
chap. 3. New York: WebMD.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
May 11, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 11, 2011
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