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Cardiac conduction disturbances in patients with ankylosing spondylitis: results from a 5-year follow-up cohort study.

Journal article
Authors Karin Bengtsson
Eva Klingberg
Anna Deminger
Hanna Wallberg
Lennart T. H. Jacobsson
Lennart Bergfeldt
Helena Forsblad d'Elia
Published in RMD open
Volume 5
Issue 2
ISSN 2056-5933
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Language en
Subject categories Cardiovascular medicine


To describe electrocardiographic (ECG) development in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and identify associations between baseline characteristics and cardiac conduction disturbances (CCD) at 5-year follow-up.In a longitudinal cohort study, 172 patients (54% men, mean age (SD) of 50 (13) years at baseline) with AS underwent ECG, physical examination, questionnaires and laboratory testing at baseline and at 5-year follow-up. Descriptive statistics and univariate and age- and sex-adjusted logistic regression analyses were used. CCD included both atrioventricular and intraventricular blocks.Twenty-three of the 172 patients (13.4%) had a CCD at follow-up. Eight patients had developed a new CCD and eight had normalised their ECG. In the age- and sex-adjusted analyses, CCD at baseline (OR 24.8, 95% CI 7.3 to 84.5), male sex (OR 6.4, 95% CI 2.0 to 20.8), history of anterior uveitis (OR 4.4, 95% CI 1.3 to 14.5), higher ASDAS-CRP (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.3 to 4.0), greater waist circumference (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.6, per 5 cm), and medication with antiplatelets (OR 7.0, 95% CI 1.5 to 31.8) and beta-blockers (OR 3.4, 95% CI 1.0 to 11.5) were associated with a CCD at follow-up. Higher age and longer symptom duration were highly correlated and were both associated with a CCD at follow-up.The presence of CCD in AS is in part dynamic and associated with both AS and non-AS characteristics. Our results suggest that patients especially prone to present with CCDs are older men with a previous CCD, longer symptom duration, higher AS disease activity, a history of anterior uveitis and medication reflecting cardiovascular disease.

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