Author(s): Dagfinrud H, Mengshoel AM, Hagen KB, Loge JH, Kvien TK
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To examine the subjective health in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) compared with the general population, and to explore the associations between health status and age, sex of the patients, and educational level in AS. METHODS: Health status was assessed with a generic instrument (SF-36) in 314 patients with AS and in 2323 people from the general population. Subgroup analyses were performed according to age, sex, and educational level. Standard difference scores (s-scores) were calculated to ensure the clinical meaningfulness of the norm based comparisons. RESULTS: Both men and women with AS reported significantly impaired health on all scales of the SF-36. Women reported significantly worse health on physical health domains. However, when calculating differences from the general population, numerically larger s-scores were found for men (except for physical role and vitality). The relative impact of AS seems to diminish with increasing age. In AS, better health was significantly associated with higher education across all scales. Deviations from the general population on the non-physical health aspects were especially pronounced in patients with low education. CONCLUSIONS: All key dimensions of health are affected by AS. The physical aspects seem to be most severely affected, but in the less educated group of patients, the disease impact on the mental health aspects was also considerable. Evaluation and management planning should take the complexity of AS into consideration. The focus on physical function should be maintained, and additional attention should be paid to the mental and social consequences of AS.
This article was published in Ann Rheum Dis
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis