Article Text

other Versions

Download PDFPDF
Extended report
Mortality in ankylosing spondylitis: results from a nationwide population-based study
  1. Sofia Exarchou1,
  2. Elisabeth Lie2,3,
  3. Ulf Lindström2,
  4. Johan Askling4,
  5. Helena Forsblad-d'Elia5,
  6. Carl Turesson1,
  7. Lars Erik Kristensen1,6,
  8. Lennart TH Jacobsson2
  1. 1Rheumatology, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
  2. 2Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  3. 3Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway
  4. 4Clinical Epidemiology Unit & Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  5. 5Rheumatology, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Sweden
  6. 6Department of Rheumatology, The Parker Institute, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, the Capital Region of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sofia Exarchou, Rheumatology, Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö, Lund University; Inga Marie Nilssons gata 32, Malmö 205 02, Sweden; sofiaexar{at}


Objectives Information on mortality in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is scarce. Our study therefore aimed to assess: (1) mortality in AS versus the general population, and (2) predictors of death in the AS population.

Methods Nationwide cohorts of patients with AS diagnosed at rheumatology or internal medicine outpatient clinics (n=8600) and age-matched, sex-matched and county-matched general population comparators (n=40 460) were identified from the National Patient Register and the census register, respectively. The follow-up period began on 1 January 2006 or at the first date of registered diagnosis thereafter and extended until death, emigration or 31 December 2012, whichever occurred first. Socioeconomic variables, AS-related clinical manifestations, joint surgery, comorbidities and medication were identified from other national registers. Cox regression models were used to determine mortality and predictors for death in the AS cohort.

Results There were 496 deaths in the AS cohort and 1533 deaths in the control cohort resulting in an age-adjusted and sex-adjusted HR of 1.60 (95% CI 1.44 to 1.77), with increased mortality for men (age-adjusted HR=1.53, 95% CI 1.36 to 1.72) and women (age-adjusted HR=1.83, 95% CI 1.50 to 2.22). Within the AS cohort, statistically significant predictors for death were a lower level of education, general comorbidities (diabetes, infections, cardiovascular, pulmonary and malignant diseases) and previous hip replacement surgery.

Conclusions Mortality was increased for male and female patients with AS. Predictors of death within the AS cohort included socioeconomic status, general comorbidities and hip replacement surgery.

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Epidemiology
  • Outcomes research
  • Spondyloarthritis

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.