Spondyloarthritis (SpA) represents a group of interrelated diseases with common clinical features and a close association with HLA-B27. Reports of incidence and prevalence of diseases vary depending on methodological differences between studies, the case definition used to classify disease, and the prevalence of HLA-B27 in the population studied. Newly proposed criteria for axial SpA and peripheral SpA present a new approach to facilitate classification of the SpA into 2 main subtypes and the criteria allow earlier detection of patents with inflammatory back pain. These criteria were developed for use in a (specialized) clinical setting and not for large epidemiologic studies.
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