The prevalence of axial spondyloarthritis in the UK: a cross-sectional cohort study

Hamilton, Louise, Macgregor, Alex ORCID:, Toms, Andoni, Warmington, Victoria, Pinch, Edward and Gaffney, Karl ORCID: (2015) The prevalence of axial spondyloarthritis in the UK: a cross-sectional cohort study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 16 (1). p. 392. ISSN 1471-2474

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Background: Accurate prevalence data are important when interpreting diagnostic tests and planning for the health needs of a population, yet no such data exist for axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) in the UK. In this cross-sectional cohort study we aimed to estimate the prevalence of axSpA in a UK primary care population. Methods: A validated self-completed questionnaire was used to screen primary care patients with low back pain for inflammatory back pain (IBP). Patients with a verifiable pre-existing diagnosis of axSpA were included as positive cases. All other patients meeting the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) IBP criteria were invited to undergo further assessment including MRI scanning, allowing classification according to the European Spondyloarthropathy Study Group (ESSG) and ASAS axSpA criteria, and the modified New York (mNY) criteria for ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Results: Of 978 questionnaires sent to potential participants 505 were returned (response rate 51.6 %). Six subjects had a prior diagnosis of axSpA, 4 of whom met mNY criteria. Thirty eight of 75 subjects meeting ASAS IBP criteria attended review (mean age 53.5 years, 37 % male). The number of subjects satisfying classification criteria was 23 for ESSG, 3 for ASAS (2 clinical, 1 radiological) and 1 for mNY criteria. This equates to a prevalence of 5.3 % (95 % CI 4.0, 6.8) using ESSG, 1.3 % (95 % CI 0.8, 2.3) using ASAS, 0.66 % (95 % CI 0.28, 1.3) using mNY criteria in chronic back pain patients, and 1.2 % (95 % CI 0.9, 1.4) using ESSG, 0.3 % (95 % CI 0.13, 0.48) using ASAS, 0.15 % (95 % CI 0.02, 0.27) using mNY criteria in the general adult primary care population. Conclusions: These are the first prevalence estimates for axSpA in the UK, and will be of importance in planning for the future healthcare needs of this population. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN76873217

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © Hamilton et al. 2015 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://​creativecommons.​org/​publicdomain/​zero/​1.​0/​) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Uncontrolled Keywords: epidemiology,ankylosing spondylitis,questionnaires,imaging,spine,low back pain
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Epidemiology and Public Health
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Musculoskeletal Medicine
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Nutrition and Preventive Medicine
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Public Health and Health Services Research (former - to 2023)
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Norwich Epidemiology Centre
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Norwich Epidemiology Centre
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2016 12:00
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2023 23:49
DOI: 10.1186/s12891-015-0853-2


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