Risk factors for development and persistence of chronic widespread pain in spondyloarthritis: a population-based two-year follow-up study

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Objective: To study chronic widespread pain (CWP) over time in patients with spondyloarthritis (SpA), and to identify risk factors for development and persistence of CWP. Methods: In this cohort study with baseline and 2.5 year follow-up postal surveys, patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and undifferentiated spondyloarthritis (USpA) (47% women) answered questions regarding pain, and were categorized as no chronic pain (NCP), chronic regional pain (CRP), or CWP. For each risk factor candidate (disease duration, body mass index, smoking, and patient-reported outcome measures), logistic regression analyses with CWP as the main outcome were performed separately, together with a basic model including age, gender, and SpA subgroup. Results: Altogether, 644 patients could be categorized at both time-points, yielding similar prevalence estimates at baseline and follow-up, although 38% transitioned between pain groups. Risk factors (odds ratio; 95% confidence interval) for development of CWP included more pain regions (1.36; 1.20‒1.53), higher pain intensity (1.35; 1.20‒1.52), worse fatigue (1.25; 1.13‒1.38), and worse global health (1.35; 1.19‒1.54). Persistent CWP was reported by 72%. In addition to factors predicting development of CWP, higher age (1.02; 1.00‒1.04), female gender (1.82; 1.06‒3.10), and anxiety (1.07; 1.00–1.14) also predicted persistence. Conclusion: The prevalence of CWP remained high over time, but with individual transitions between the pain groups. The development and persistence of CWP were predicted by more pain and worse health, with the addition of female gender and higher age for persistent CWP. Special attention and treatment alternatives for patients with SpA and concomitant CWP are essential in the clinic.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • Sahlgrenska Academy
  • Odense University Hospital
  • Spenshult Research and Development Center

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Allmän medicin
  • Reumatologi och inflammation
  • Sjukgymnastik
Sidor (från-till)460-468
TidskriftScandinavian Journal of Rheumatology
Utgåva nummer6
Tidigt onlinedatum2019 jun 27
StatusPublished - 2019
Peer review utfördJa