Hoda M Malaty,1,2 Grace Hsiao-Wei Lo,1–3 Jason K Hou1–3
1Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, 2Michael E DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 3Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, TX, USA
Background: Joint complaints such as spondyloarthritis and peripheral arthritis are the most common extraintestinal manifestations in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); however, the evaluation of these symptoms are poorly described.
Objectives: To examine the clinical characteristics and prevalence of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and other joint complaints among patients with IBD.
Methods: In a local cohort of patients diagnosed with IBD between 1996 and 2009, we performed a retrospective study at the Veterans Affairs Hospital. Patients with IBD were identified by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes and confirmed by chart review. The occurrence of AS, peripheral arthritis, and other peripheral and axial joint symptoms were identified.
Results: We identified 626 patients with IBD between ages 18 and 90 (90% males), of whom 57% had ulcerative colitis (UC), 74% were Caucasians, and the mean age at diagnosis was 54 (±16) years. Among the study population, 108 patients (17%) had at least one type of joint pain. Among these 17% with joint pain, 12% had AS, 43% had peripheral arthritis, 32% had chronic back pain without AS, and 13% had other types of joint pain. The overall prevalence of peripheral arthritis among patients with IBD was three times higher than that of AS (7% vs 2.1%, respectively, OR 3.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.9–6.5; p=0.001). There was no difference in the prevalence of AS or peripheral arthritis between patients with Crohn’s disease and UC. The initial diagnosis of AS occurred after the initial diagnosis of IBD in 80% of patients within a mean (SD) period of 5.6 (±6) years.
Conclusion: Spondyloarthritis among patients with IBD is usually diagnosed after the initial diagnosis of IBD. No difference in the prevalence of AS or peripheral arthritis was observed by IBD type, age, or race. Recognition and understanding of these results will have important implications for the management of IBD patients with spondyloarthritis.