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Clin Rheumatol. 2011 Aug;30(8):1075-80. doi: 10.1007/s10067-011-1719-0. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Recently diagnosed axial spondyloarthritis: gender differences and factors related to delay in diagnosis.

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Internal Medicine A, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.


A cohort of patients with recently diagnosed axial spondyloarthritis (SpA) was characterized with emphasis on gender differences and factors leading to delay in diagnosis. Clinical, laboratory, and imaging data of 151 consecutive patients diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis or undifferentiated SpA in 2004-2009 and satisfying the new ASAS classification criteria for axial SpA, was collected and analyzed. Seventy-nine men and 72 women were enrolled. Both groups (men and women) had similar age of onset of disease-related symptoms, as well as similar delay time to diagnosis, follow-up duration and frequency of anti-TNF treatment. Inflammatory back pain, as a first symptom related to SpA, was reported more often by men, while women had more pelvic, heel, and widespread pain (WP) during the course of the disease. At the time of diagnosis, men were more limited in chest expansion and showed increased occiput-to-wall distance compared to women. Elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and/or C-reactive protein were detected in a similar proportion of men and women. Presence of WP in women almost doubled the delay in the diagnosis of SpA. No other differences in disease presentation or burden were demonstrated to correlate with delay in diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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