Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects the spine. Ankylosing spondylitis symptoms include pain and stiffness from the neck down to the lower back. The spine's bones (vertebrae) may grow or fuse together, resulting in a rigid spine. These changes may be mild or severe, and may lead to a stooped-over posture. Early diagnosis and treatment helps control pain and stiffness and may reduce or prevent significant deformity.
Mortality is increased in people with AS and circulatory disease is the most frequent cause of death. Ankylosing spondylitis patients have an increased risk of 60% for cerebrovascular mortality, and an overall increased risk of 50% for vascular mortality.