Chronic inflammation in these areas causes pain and stiffness in and around the spine, including the neck and back. Over time, chronic inflammation of the spine (spondylitis) can lead to a complete cementing together (fusion) of the vertebrae, a process referred to as ankylosis. Ankylosis causes loss of mobility of the spine. There is no cure for Ankylosing spondylitis, although treatments and medications can reduce symptoms and pain.
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.