Ankylosing Spondylitis, recently renamed “Axial Spondyloarthritis”, affects the spine and the sacroiliac joints, causing both inflammation as well as new bone formation. The latter process is “silent”, but eventually leads to profound disability due to fusion (“ankylosis”) of the entire spine.
1 out of 5 people will develop uveitis, an inflammation of the eye which can permanently impair vision. Another association is with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases like Crohn Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. It is also related to Psoriatic Arthritis and Reactive Arthritis. 3 to 4 out of 5 people of AS patients carry the gene, HLA-B27, varying with ethnicity.