Ankylosing Spondylitis Causes

Environmental, genetic, and immune system factors are believed to play a role in causing ankylosing spondylitis; however, it is not clear how these factors specifically cause the condition. Certain risk factors can increase a person's chances of developing ankylosing spondylitis. These include such things as being male and having a certain gene variation.

What Causes Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis is a condition that affects about 0.5 percent of people of Western European descent. It is one of many types of arthritis. Research scientists believe that a combination of environmental, genetic, and immune system factors cause this condition. However, at this point, they aren't sure how these possible ankylosing spondylitis causes tie together.
 

Risk Factors for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop ankylosing spondylitis. A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chances of developing a disease. Having risk factors for ankylosing spondylitis does not guarantee that a person will develop the condition -- it is not a "cause" of the disease per se; it just increases a person's chances of developing it.
 
Some of these risk factors include:
 
  • Having a family history of ankylosing spondylitis
  • Possessing certain genetic factors
  • Being male
  • Being in adolescence or early adulthood
  • Having certain infections.
 
Family History
About 20 percent of people with ankylosing spondylitis also have a family member with the condition.
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Ankylosing Spondylitis Information

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