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High disease activity of ankylosing spondylitis in the community before the introduction of tumour necrosis factor blockers
  1. Josef Hermann1,
  2. Thomas Müller1,
  3. Babak Yazdani-Biuki1,
  4. Martin Aringer2,
  5. Manfred Herold3,
  6. Wolfgang Ebner4,
  7. Petra Ofner5,
  8. Winfried Graninger1
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  3. 3Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Innsbruck,Innsbruck, Austria
  4. 4Department of Internal Medicine, Hietzing Hospital, Vienna, Austria
  5. 5Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation, Graz, Austria
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Josef Hermann
    Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 15, A-8036 Graz, Austria; josef.hermann{at}

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Before the introduction of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) blocking agents, the management of ankylosing spondylitis was mainly limited to physical exercise and the administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.1–3 To estimate the ankylosing spondylitis disease status in conventionally treated patients, we performed a community-based cross-sectional postal survey before TNF blocking agents became available in Austria.

Between January and April 2003, a questionnaire to assess ankylosing spondylitis disease activity, function and pain levels using the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) and a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was distributed to all 1400 members of the Austrian ankylosing spondylitis patient’s association treated in the …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

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