Comorbidity management in spondyloarthritis

RMD Open. 2020 Sep;6(2):e001135. doi: 10.1136/rmdopen-2019-001135.


Comorbidities are defined as coexistent clinical disorders that appear as a consequence of persistent inflammatory activity and/or treatment. Comorbidities in spondyloarthritis (SpA) are frequent, contributing to a poorer quality of life, higher mortality and incremented healthcare costs. Several recommendations for the screening and management of these comorbidities have been developed in recent years with the aim of improving the different outcomes in these patients. Osteoporosis is the most prevalent comorbidity in patients with SpA, mainly caused by systemic inflammation and a lack of mobility, while cardiovascular diseases explain the increased mortality in patients with SpA with regard to the general population. Data from randomised controlled trials show a low incidence of infections in both patients with and without immunosuppressive treatment, and no evidence of a high incidence of malignant diseases has been demonstrated in these patients. Finally, concomitant fibromyalgia deserves attention, since its coexistence with SpA leads to a poorer treatment response and more switches of anti-TNF treatments. In this review, we show an update of the most common comorbidities in patients with SpA, and we discuss the latest evidence on the management of such comorbidities.

Keywords: Ankylosing; Bone Density; Cardiovascular Diseases; Spondylitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Disease Management
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infections / diagnosis
  • Infections / epidemiology
  • Infections / etiology
  • Infections / therapy
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis / etiology
  • Osteoporosis / therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Spondylarthritis / complications*
  • Spondylarthritis / epidemiology*