Author(s): Geirsson AJ, Eyjolfsdottir H, Bjornsdottir G, Kristjansson K, Gudbjornsson B
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and clinical characteristics of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in the Icelandic population, which carries a high prevalence of HLA-B27. METHODS: A nationwide search was performed by screening hospital records and private rheumatology services for cases of AS in association with an on-going genetic study. Individuals diagnosed with AS according to the modified New York criteria were asked to participate in the study by answering a standardised questionnaire and to undergo an interview and clinical evaluation. RESULTS: A total of 256 individuals fulfilled the modified New York classification criteria for AS (169 male, 87 female); 84\% of these individuals were HLA-B27 positive vs. 15\% in the population (p<10-16). Of those contacted 223 patients (87.1\%) answered the standardised questionnaire and were included in the study. The prevalence of AS in Iceland was 0.13\% (CI 0.11-0.14\%). A highly conservative prevalence number, based only on clinically evaluated patients, gave prevalence of 0.10\% (CI 0.09-0.11\%). Mean age at onset of symptoms was 24+/-8 years and at diagnosis 32.1+/-10.2 for male and 34.2+/-10.1 for female patients (not significant). Female patients more often had arthritis in peripheral joints and male patients were more often diagnosed with iritis. Prostatitis was experienced by 27\% of male patients. CONCLUSIONS: AS is less common in the Icelandic population than reported in various Caucasian populations with a similar prevalence of HLA-B27.
This article was published in Clin Exp Rheumatol
and referenced in Rheumatology: Current Research