Background Data on spondyloarthritis (SpA) from the Middle East are sparse and the management of these diseases in this area of the world faces a number of challenges, including the relevant resources to enable early diagnosis and referral, and sufficient funds to aid the most appropriate treatment strategy.
Objectives The objective was to report on the characteristics, disease burden, and treatment of SpA in the Middle East region and to highlight where management strategies could be improved, with the overall aim of achieving better patient outcomes.
Methods This multicenter, observational, cross-sectional study collected demographic, clinical, laboratory and treatment data on 169 consecutive SpA patients at four centers in four countries (Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia).
Results Overall, 59% of patients were male, 44% had ankylosing spondylitis (AS), 36% had psoriatic arthritis, and the average time from symptom onset to diagnosis was 2.8 years (4.9 years for those with AS). Co-morbidities were common, with 15% of patients (26% of AS patients) having uveitis. Two-thirds of patients were being treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; 34% were receiving biologic treatment, and another 19% were eligible for biologics but were not receiving them for financial reasons. Clinical and patient-reported disease measures amongst AS patients were higher in those currently treated with NSAIDs and lower in those receiving biologics.
Conclusions In the absence of regional registries enrolling SpA patients, the data presented here provide a rare snapshot of the characteristics, disease burden, and treatment of these patients, highlighting the management challenges in the region.
Disclosure of Interest M. Hammoudeh Grant/research support from: Pfizer, Consultant for: Pfizer and Abbott, Speakers bureau: Pfizer and Abbott, H. Al Rayes: None declared, A. Alawadhi: None declared, K. Gado Consultant for: Roche and Bristol-Myers Squibb, Speakers bureau: Roche and Bristol-Myers Squibb, A. Deodhar Grant/research support from: AbbVie, Amgen, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer, and UCB, Consultant for: AbbVie, Amgen, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer, and UCB