Background and Objectives Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic, autoimmune, systemic, inflammatory disease. Recently, a link has been established between autoimmune inflammatory diseases, incl. AS, and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Uveitis is the most frequent extraarticular location of AS - it occurs in about 25 - 40% of patients. The impact of evidence of uveitis during the course of AS still remains a challenge. Does AS with uveitis differ from AS without uveitis? The objective of this study was to detect the link between uveitis during the course of AS and the CVD risk factors in patients with AS.
Materials and Methods 77 AS patients classified using the modified New York criteria were assessed clinically and 6 ml of serum was collected from each patient. Patients were divided into two groups: with and without uveitis. The following parameters were chosen as the CVD risk factors: body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc). Statistical analyses included a between-group comparison of age, duration of the disease, the disease activity (measured using Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS) with C-reactive protein (CRP)) and values of the CVD risk factors.
Results The mean age was 39.7 years (SD 10.15), disease duration 13.5 years (SD 8.44) and ASDAScrp 3.0 (SD 1.38). These parameters were not statistically significantly different between the groups. The mean value of BMI, WC and HDLc in AS group with uveitis (n = 26) were respectively 24.8 kg/cm2 (SD 4.22), 91.3 cm (SD 14.23) and 1.51 mmol/l (SD 0.5). The mean value of BMI, WC and HDLc in AS group without uveitis (n = 51) were respectively 25.4 kg/cm2 (SD 4.2), 93.1 cm (SD 11.67) and 1.39 mmol/l (SD 0.39). The values of the CVD risk factors were not statistically significantly different between the groups.
Conclusions These results suggest that uveitis does not impact the CVD risk factors in patients with AS. Thus it can be proposed that aspects of the pathogenesis, genetics of uveitis in patients with AS do not interfere with pathways of CVD. Further investigations are needed.