Objective: To compare the clinical course; laboratory and radiological features of women and men with ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
Methods: Retrospective review of charts of 41 women and 41 men with AS (25 B27+ and 16 B27- in each group) individually matched for age at onset and disease duration.
Results: No differences were observed in the clinical picture in either sex, but the disease was less severe in women than in men with lesser duration of uveitis attacks, lower leukocyte counts (p < 0.05), lower levels of gamma-globulins (p < 0.05), and longer asymptomatic periods. At the end of the study, women had less restriction of spinal extension (p = NS), less sequelae of uveitis without significant visual loss (p = NS), required fewer hip replacements, had less frequency of bamboo spine (p < 0.02), and better functional class (p < 0.0027) than men.
Conclusion: There are no significant clinical or radiographic differences between women and men with AS. However, the disease was more severe in men and these features may be due to sexual dimorphism.