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  1. S. Maguire1,2,
  2. P. Gallagher3,
  3. F. B. O’shea1,2
  1. 1St James’ Hospital, Department of Rheumatology, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2Trinity College Dublin, School of Medicine, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3St Vincent’s Hospital, Department of Rheumatology, Dublin, Ireland


Background: Females with axial spondyloarthropathy (axSpA) average scores on patient reported outcomes (PROs) than males. However, this does not necessarily correlate to worse clinical findings. The Ankylosing Spondylitis Registry of Ireland (ARSI) is a national registry on patients with axSpA in Ireland and a source of epidemiological data.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the scores of each sex across the individual components of the BASDAI to understand why females report worse scores than males.

Methods: Analysis of the ASRI was preformed using IBM SPSS version 26. Patients were analyzed on the basis of gender. Comparison of baseline characteristics and mean BASMI, BASFI, HAQ and ASQoL were tested for significance using an independent two tailed t-test and a Mann Whitney U test. Mean total BASDAI score and mean score for each component of the BASDAI were compared and tested for significance with the same statistical tests. A chi-squared test for independence was used to determine significance in variation of HLA-B27 status and radiographic findings.

Results: A total of 857 patients were included in the analysis. Patient population was 24.9% (213) female and 75.1% (644) male with a mean age of 45.9 years and mean disease duration of 19.4 years (means: BASDAI 4.02, BASMI 4, BASFI 3.67, HAQ 0.53, ASQoL 6.48). Females had worse BASDAI(4.6 vs 3.83, p<0.01), HAQ(0.6 vs 0.51, p=0.03) and ASQoL scores (7.62 vs 6.12, p<0.01) than males. BASFI scores were worse in females which did not reach significance (3.89 vs 3.63, p=0.26). However, females had significantly better BASMI scores than males (3.51 vs 4.16, p<0.01). Within the BASDAI, females scored significantly worse than males across all components (Fatigue: 5.56 vs 4.51, p<0.01; Spinal pain: 5.51 vs 4.63, p<0.01; Other pain: 3.82 vs 3.19, p=0.01; Discomfort: 4.05 vs 3.29, p<0.01; EMS: 4.55 vs 3.94, p=0.01), however duration of EMS did not reach significance (3.54 vs 3.12, p=0.07)(graph 1). Within the BASDAI, females recorded highest mean scores for fatigue (5.56), while males recorded highest mean scores for spinal pain(4.63). Lowest mean scores for both genders was for EMS duration (3.54 vs 3.12). Ranking of the BASDAI components by mean scores show similarity in the ranking of discomfort, EMS, other pain and EMS duration(Table 1).

Table 1.

Ranking in order of severity by mean score

Graph 1.

Breakdown of BASDAI scores in Females compared to Males

Conclusion: AxSpA females have consistently worse PROs but have better spinal mobility than males. Despite females recording worse BASDAI scores than males, the pattern of active disease is similar in 4 of the 6 components of the BASDAI. However, fatigue is the most problematic symptom in females with active axSpA while spinal pain is the most problematic symptom for males. This variation by gender should be kept in consideration when evaluating a patient with suspected active axSpA.

Disclosure of Interests: Sinead Maguire Grant/research support from: Recipient of the Gilead Inflammation Fellowship, Phil Gallagher: None declared, Finbar Barry O’Shea: None declared

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