Around 82000 people suffer from Spondyloarthritis in UAE and a new study conducted by EMA(European Medicines Agency) suggests that the male to female ratio is 1:1
- Patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis tend to receive accurate treatment only after 7-9 years of developing the condition as there is delay in accurate identification of the symptoms and majority of the patients don't reach rheumatologists.
- A study conducted by EMA(European Medicines Agency) proves that females are as susceptible to Spondyloarthrititis as males, specially non-radiographic form of Axial Spondyloarthritis
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June xx, 2013: A study conducted by European Medicines Agency suggests that females are also equally susceptible to the condition, especially undetectable form of axial Spondyloarthritis. This is opposed to earlier known fact that Spondyloarthrititis affects mostly males, where male to female ratio was 3:1. In most cases, patients in the age group of 30-45 suffer from constant back pain for more than 3 months before they consider medication. In some cases, the condition goes undetected for 7-9 years before the patient receives proper treatment. Self-medication and misdiagnosis are among the reasons that prevent proper treatment. On a short term, this leads to suffering from chronic back pain and over a long period it can lead to deformity and disability.
“In Dubai, we have noticed that out of 32% of the captured back pain cases, around 2% are for Axial Spondyloarthritis, with patients coming to us with unresolved complaints about chronic inflammatory back pain that they had been facing for a long time.” says Dr. Jamal Al Saleh, Chairman of Emirates Rheumatology society and President of Pan Arab Rheumatology Conference 2014. Around 1% of the total population of 8.2 million in UAE suffers from Spondyloarthritis, indicating around 82000 patients in the region.
Axial Spondyloarthritis mainly affects the spinal cord of a human body and the joint connecting the spine with the pelvis. Severe chronic back pain is key symptom identified in patients. In some cases, the condition can progress to fusion of the spinal vertebras leading to Ankylosing Spondylitis. Apart from back pain, it can lead to stiffness of the joints and deformities affecting both the work and personal lives of patients.
“Treatment options although limited are available. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs) is the primary treatment option suggested, but it may not work for all patients. Anti-TNF (tumour necrosis factor) is a highly recommended treatment option in such cases,” says Dr Mohammed Hammoudeh, Consultant, Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, Hamad Medical Corporation.
Spondyloarthrititis is a group of inflammatory diseases that include Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA), Reactive Arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis , inflammatory bowel disease related arthritis and undifferentiated spondyloarthritis. The new classification has combined all these diseases into peripheral and axial spondyloarthritis. Axial Spondyloarthritidis has been further classified into non-radiographic spondyloarthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis. Non-radiographic spondyloarthritis lacks the presence of radiographic inflammation which gets detected during X-Ray. It can only be detected by undergoing MRI. Patients with the condition present no evidence of structural damage as found in normal patients but it may gradually develop into Ankylosing Spondylitis.
About Dr. Jamal AlSaleh
Dr. Jamal AlSaleh , currently Chairman of Emirates Rheumatology Society, and President of Pan Arab Rheumatology Conference 2014.
About Dr. Mohammed Hammoudeh
Dr. Mohammed Hammoudeh, Consultant, Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar