Friday, February 25, 2011

Mortality in ankylosing spondylitis. -

I hesitate to put info like this out there because it can be demoralizing and cause fear.  But, after thinking about it a fair bit, I believe that the tip-off that this study and many others reflecting similar information can help those of us with inflammatory illnesses such as AS understand the impact of the disease on more than just the skeletal, connective tissue systems.  There is clear evidence that AS causes a reduction in life span without regard to treatment received.  This is mainly due to the increased risk factors for heart disease, as well as the  abnormal treatment of lipids in the body and many other common sense risks which can shorten our lives. 

Knowing that AS brings with it an increased heart risk due to inflammatory changes, as well as many common effects of AS work to cause or accelerate heart disease (these include microvascualr changes, endocrine changes such as low testosterone and increased cholesterol as well as poor sleep habits and less exercise overall).  Knowing that AS is an over-arching risk factor for heart-related mortality is a form of empowerment for those of us who have this disease - but only if we do as much as possible to treat and address all of the risks that AS ADDS to our personal cardiac risks.  Below is the abstract from a study showing the many increased risk factors to increased mortality due to AS.

Mortality in ankylosing spondylitis.

Zochling J, Braun J.

Research Institute, Hobart, Australia.


Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease which causes pain along with loss of physical function and quality of life over many years. It has also been shown to increase mortality compared to the general population, independent of treatment modalities. Cardiovascular deaths are increased, and recent studies suggest both an abnormality of lipid regulation and microvascualr changes. Increased rates of suicide, accidental death, and alcohol-related deaths have also been reported. This review examines rates and causes of increased mortality in AS and highlights a need to focus on cardiovascular risk factors and psychological health in addition to physical disability in patients with AS.

Increased Mortality Rates in Ankylosing Spondylitis Patients.  PubMed

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