High Prevalence of Traditional Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Ankylosing Spondylitis Registry of Ireland (ASRI) Cohort


Fitzgerald G (1), Gallagher P (2), O Sullivan C (3), O Rourke K (4), Sheehy C (5), Stafford F (6), Silke C (7), Haroon M (8), Lundon DJ (9), Mullan R (10), FitzGerald O (2), O Shea F (1).


1. St James’s Hospital, 2. St Vincent’s Hospital, 3. Galway University Hospital, 4. Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore, 5. University Hospital Waterford, 6. Blackrock Clinic, 7. Sligo General Hospital, 8. Kerry General Hospital, 9. University College Dublin, 10. Tallaght Hospital


Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular (CV) disease1. Due to the predominantly young age of patients, screening for traditional CV risk factors is often not considered.


The AS Registry of Ireland (ASRI) provides descriptive epidemiological data on the AS population in Ireland. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of traditional CV risk factors in a well characterised AS patient cohort.


A standardised clinical assessment was performed on each patient and structured interviews provided patient-reported data, which included the presence of traditional CV risk factors and other comorbidities. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS.


As of June 2015, 340 patients have been included in ASRI (79.7% males; mean age 47.6 (SD 12.6); mean disease duration 21.6 years (SD 12); average delay to diagnosis of 8.9 years (SD 8.5)). Mean BASDAI was 3.9 (SD 2.4), BASFI 3.8 (SD 2.6) and HAQ 0.56 (SD 0.52). The most prevalent comorbidities were hypertension (25.9%), hyperlipidaemia (20.9%) and smoking (ex-smoker 32.1%, current 27.4%). Patients were more likely to have a higher BASDAI if they were a smoker (p<0.05) or had depression (P<0.001), with a trend towards higher disease activity in those with hypertension (p=0.06). Higher BASFI scores were associated with hypertension, osteoporosis, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia (p<0.05).


There is a high prevalence of traditional CV risk factors in this patient cohort. The presence of co-morbidities is associated with higher disease activity and functional impairment in this patient cohort. With increasing focus on AS as an independent risk factor for CV disease, quality improvement initiatives are needed to improve the recognition of traditional CV risk factors among AS patients.