Factors related to health-related quality of life in ankylosing spondylitis, overall and stratified by sex

Arthritis Res Ther. 2018 Dec 27;20(1):284. doi: 10.1186/s13075-018-1784-8.


Background: Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) begins early in life and often leads to reduced physical function, but less is known about the impacts it has on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The aims of this study were to assess HRQoL using the Short Form-36 (SF-36) in a cohort of patients with AS compared with controls and to examine associations between SF-36 scores and spinal radiographic changes, physical function, disease activity and demographic data overall and stratified by sex.

Methods: A cohort of patients with AS from Western Sweden were assessed using the Modified Stoke Ankylosing Spondylitis Spine Score (mSASSS) with spinal radiographs, clinical examination and questionnaires, including the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index, Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI), Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score-C-reactive protein (ASDAS-CRP), Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index, Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Patient Global (BASG) and SF-36. Each patient's SF-36 results were compared with those of five age-matched and sex-matched persons (n = 1055) from the SF-36 Swedish normative population database. Associations between SF-36 physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores and disease-related and demographic factors were investigated using univariate and multivariable ogistic regression analyses with PCS and MCS below/above their respective median values as dependent variables.

Results: A total of 210 patients, age (median, IQR) 49.0 (21.2) years, symptom duration 24.0 (21.0) years, men 57.6% and HLAB27 87.1% were included. Patients with AS scored significantly lower (p < 0.001) compared to controls in all SF-36 domains and component summaries; PCS 42.4 (14.5) in AS versus 52.4 (11.8) in controls and MCS 47.9 (20.0) in AS versus 54.1 (10.1) in controls. Both men and women scored significantly lower in PCS compared with MCS. Multivariable logistic regression analyses revealed that living without a partner (OR 2.38, 95% CI 1.00-5.67), long symptom duration (year in decade OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.16-2.37), higher BASFI (OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.46-2.70) and ASDAS ≥ 2.1 (OR 3.32, 95% CI 1.45-7.62) were associated with worse PCS, while living without a partner (OR 3.04, 95% CI 1.34-6.91), fatigue (visual analogue scale for global fatigue greater than the median (OR 6.36, 95% CI 3.06-13.19) and ASDAS ≥ 2.1 (OR 2.97, 95% CI 1.41-6.25) with worse MCS. Some differences between sexes were observed in the results.

Conclusions: The patients with AS had significantly lower HRQoL compared with controls. PCS was more affected compared to MCS in both sexes. Both disease-related and demographic factors were associated with HRQoL, partly overlapping for PCS and MCS. Factors associated with HRQoL showed some differences between sexes. By modifying factors, such as ASDAS-CRP and fatigue, HRQoL may potentially be improved.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00858819 . Registered on 9 March 2009. Last updated on 28 May 2015.

Keywords: Ankylosing spondylitis; Cross-sectional study; Disease activity; Fatigue; Health-related quality of life; Medical outcome survey short form-36; Observational study.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Quality of Life*
  • Spine / physiopathology*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / diagnosis
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / physiopathology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Sweden

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00858819