What is a comorbidity?

A comorbidity is any additional condition that exists to a primary diagnosed Spondyloarthritis (SpA) condition. Comorbid conditions can either be linked to the disease process, its treatment, or independent. They can contribute to the disease burden, prognosis, morbidity and can affect your quality of life.

As you are aware, SpA are a group of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases that affect the axial and peripheral skeleton as well as the skin, eye, gut and heart to mention a few. Patients with a SpA condition are at increased risk of developing certain comorbidities which can have an adverse impact on health outcomes, quality of life, health care costs and place an increase burden on patients. Patients commonly experience chronic fatigue, chronic pain, sleep and mental health issues including depression and anxiety.

It is important for patients to be aware, and informed, of the common comorbidities they may encounter in their SpA journey and the importance of early diagnosis and management.

In addition to knowledge, it’s important to ensure your family doctor, rheumatologist & pharmacist are kept updated on the various other conditions you may be diagnosed with and the treatment you are taking. This is important because your rheumatologist will likely not be the only physician managing your care.

The information included in the subsequent comorbidity sections have been developed in partnership with other Canadian patient organizations supporting patients in their disease area.

We hope you will find the information on each comorbidity valuable as we develop the pages!