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Seven Year Delay in Diagnosing Spondyloarthritis

Apr 29, 2021 4:58 pm

A large patient cohort study suggests that the mean diagnostic delay (DD) in European axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) patients is 7.4 years, moreso in women and younger patients.

An online survey of 2,652 patients from 13 countries (European Map of Axial Spondyloarthritis - EMAS) asked patients about their onset of symptoms and the time it took ot diagnose axSpA) and found that the average DD was 7.4 ± 8.4 years.

A longer delay was associated with:

  • Tounger age at symptom onset (b=-0.26, 95%CI -0.28 to -0.23)
  • Female gender (b = 1.34, 95%CI 0.73–1.96)
  • Higher number of healthcare professionals (HCPs) seen before diagnosis (b = 1.19, 95%CI 0.95–1.43).

There needs to be concerted effort to diagnose axSpA at earlier stages, especially amongst non-rheumatology specialists who can facilitate referral to a rheumatologist.

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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