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14-10-2019 | Rheumatology | News | Article

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IBS an ‘overlooked’ comorbidity in axSpA patients

medwireNews: Around a third of individuals with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) exhibit gut-related symptoms characteristic of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), finds an analysis of a population-based study.

“IBS may be an overlooked, frequent axSpA comorbidity, warranting further research and increased awareness to enable adequate symptom-relieving IBS therapy,” says the team led by Johan Karlsson Wallman, from Skåne University Hospital Lund in Sweden.

Of 182 axSpA patients participating in the SPARTAKUS study, 30% had gut symptoms that met IBS criteria, compared with 16% of 50 age- and sex-matched controls without any rheumatic conditions, a significant difference equating to a 2.5-fold increased risk in the axSpA group.

Multivariate analysis showed that female sex and presence of comorbid fibromyalgia were the only factors significantly associated with an elevated risk for IBS symptoms, increasing the risk 2.4 and 4.2 times, respectively.

Of note, axSpA patients with IBS symptoms appeared to have worse self-perceived disease activity, reporting worse outcomes on all measures – including visual analog scales of global disease activity, pain, and fatigue, BASDAI, BASFI, and health-related quality of life than their counterparts without such symptoms – which has “important treatment implications,” write the authors in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

By Shreeya Nanda

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2019 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

Ann Rheum Dis 2019; doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2019-216134

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