Chronic Widespread Pain Prevalent in Ankylosing Spondylitis, Undifferentiated Spondyloarthritis

Chronic widespread pain may be prevalent in patients with ankylosing spondylitis and undifferentiated spondyloarthritis.

Chronic widespread pain may be prevalent in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and undifferentiated spondyloarthritis (USpA), particularly women, according to study results published in BMC Rheumatology.

The study included a total of 940 patients with AS (as defined by the International Classification of Disease, 10th version [ICD-10] M45.9) or USpA (as defined by ICD-10 M46.1-0, M46.8-9). Participants completed a postal survey that included questions on the duration, distribution, and intensity of pain. Based on their answers, participants were categorized as having chronic widespread pain, chronic regional pain, or no chronic pain.

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In participants with AS and USpA, 45.3% and 49.3%, respectively, had chronic widespread pain, and 17.7% and 21.9% of participants with AS and USpA had chronic regional pain, respectively. In addition, more women vs men reported having chronic widespread pain (54.1% vs 41.2%, respectively; P ≤.001). The prevalence of chronic regional pain was comparable in men and women. Pain intensity was comparable in patients with AS vs USpA, and in men vs women with chronic widespread vs chronic regional pain.

Female gender, being an ever-smoker, and having a higher body mass index were found to be independently associated with the occurrence of chronic widespread pain in a multiple logistic regression analysis.

“The results highlight the importance of a thorough pain analysis included in the clinical examination, to identify patients with high and/or increasing pain levels and multiple pain regions,” the researchers noted.


Mogard E, Bremander A, Lindqvist E, Bergman S. Prevalence of chronic widespread pain in a population-based cohort of patients with spondyloarthritis – a cross-sectional study. [published online April 5, 2018] BMC Rheumatol. doi:10.1186/s41927-018-0018-7

This article originally appeared on Clinical Pain Advisor