Rise in ankylosing spondylitis among youth stumps docs

1 Mar 2014, DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Bangalore Edition, luna.dewan@dnaindia.net

Bangalore: Ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory disease of the spine, is fast catching up among those in the age group of 18-30 years, leaving the medical fraternity stumped. Also known as spondyloarthritis, the disease is affecting one in every 100 young people, said a study conducted in Europe recently. Though no such study has been conducted in India, rheumatologists in Bangalore are seeing about five-six cases on an average every week.

Consultant Rheumatologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Dr Sharath Kumar told dna: “I see about one or two cases of ankylosing spondylitis on a daily basis. There has been a significant rise in the number of such cases among the young adults. Majority of them take it as an ordinary lower back pain and the most scary part is even the doctors sometimes unaware of the condition and conduct disc replacement and surgery for patients suffering from ankylosing spondylitis.”

Ankylosing spondylitis starts with back pain, which is more in the night and early morning and reduces with exercise. It typically affects the joints of the spine. However, it can also affect the peripheral joints in the body such as the hips, knees, ankles and feet. Patients may experience problems with walking, getting out of bed, bending forward and other daily activities. In severe cases, it leads to redness of eyes, fever and also loss of appetite. If left untreated, it leads to a three fold increase in the chances of heart attack and can also result in a hunchback.

Causes of ankylosing spondylitis are multifactorial. Majority of the cases are hereditary, caused by genetic factor. Many genes can cause it. According to American College of Rheumatology, the major gene that causes this disease is HLA-B27. Men are two as likely as women to suffer from the ailment.

“Though research is still being carried out, there are certain factors that have shown that female hormone reduces the severity of disease,” Dr Sharath said.

Once diagnosed, medicines are available for controlling the disease and recently injections also have been introduced, he added. 

Location Tags:

  • bangalore


  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • back pain
  • spine problems
  • spondylitis


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