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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Ankylosing Spondylitis


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Ankylosing Spondylitis
Question: Is Ankylosing Spondylitis hereditary?

Answer: The tendency to acquire ankylosing spondylitis is inherited, but for some reason not all in a family will have this problem. It is not clear whether this is a type of autoimmune connective tissue disease or related to other problems with the inherited genes. AS is commonly seen with the histocompatibility antigen HLA-B27. Over 90% of patients will have this antigen (inherited). However, if you inherit the antigen only about 2% of these individuals will develop the disease. Twins run about 50-65%, so there is something besides inheritance which causes the disease.

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