Background Axial spondyloarthritis include non-radiographic SpA (nr-SpA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS), suggesting the extent of sacroiliac involvement on imaging techniques (1). The influence of the two conditions on patients' physical function and their impact on work capacity should be regularly assessed so that we can better contribute to patients' social integration.
Objectives The present study aims to assess the differences between AS and nr-SpA patients under anti-TNF therapy regarding disease related retirement (DR) and its contributing factors.
Methods Over a period of eleven months 136 patients diagnosed with AS or nr-SpA on current biological therapy were included. Demographic data and working status were assessed. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS 20.0.
Results In the study cohort 69% of patients were males. The predominant age group was situated between 30 to 40 years old (29.8%), while 20.2% were over 50. Out of the study group, 66% confirm they are active in their work field with a minimum of seven hours per day, whereas 4.3% reached their retirement age. 29.8% of patients were granted a disability retirement and the majority (42.9%) belonged to the 40–50 age group. Surprisingly, 6.8% of early retired patients were under 30. Out of the DR category, 92.9% were diagnosed with AS, while the rest of 7.1% had nr-SpA. The interval from diagnosis to the initiation of biological therapy was 72.5±85.1 months for AS patients and 64.1±71.2 for nr-SpA. 23.2% of patients applied for early retirement before biological therapy and only 3.1% resumed work after anti-TNF introduction. Patient gender did not influence the working capacity. At the time of study inclusion, 12% of patients with AS and 4% of patients with nr-SpA still exhibited signs of highly active disease, according to ASDAS-CRP assessment.
Conclusions Almost a third of patients in the study group were offered early retirement due to axial SpA. The vast majority of disease related retirement patients were known with AS, thus emphasizing the extent of disability brought on by this entity. However, a significant percentage of patients suffered from nr-SpA, raising doubts as to whether clinicians can promptly diagnose this entity and offer early, appropriate treatment so that inability no longer occurs.
Wendling D, Prati C, Claudepierre P, Guillot X, Breban M. Non-radiographic spondyloarthritis: A theoretical concept or a real entity? Jt Bone Spine. 2012.
Disclosure of Interest None declared