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Is ankylosing spondylitis hereditary?

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Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that is classified as part of the group of spondyloarthropathies, a heterogeneous family of interrelated inflammatory rheumatic diseases that share genetic, clinical, pathogenic, epidemiological, radiological and therapeutic response characteristics that differentiate them from other inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Ankylosing spondylitis, which is the one that concerns us in this article, is, as indicated at the beginning, a chronic inflammatory pathology that mainly affects the joints of the spine, which become inflamed and tend to weld together, causing limited mobility. As a consequence, lumbar pain appears and a progressive loss of flexibility of the spine, which begins to progressively fuse and become stiff, causing, in turn, acute outbreaks of inflammation of the joints.

In most cases, this pathology presents as an isolated disease, although in some cases it may be associated with a dermatological disease called psoriasis or inflammatory bowel diseases.

It is a common disease that affects more males between 20 and 30 years of age.

What is the role of genetics in ankylosing spondylitis?

Regarding the role of genetics in the origin of ankylosing spondylitis, although it is a complex pathology, i.e. both genetic and environmental factors are involved in its etiopathogenesis. It can be said that genetics plays a fundamental role in its appearance. The heritability of ankylosing spondylitis is over 90%, which means that the role of genetics in the origin and development of the disease is very relevant and therefore it is essential to know the predisposition to suffer from it in order to take measures aimed at its prevention and/or adequate treatment.

espondinitis anquilosante


Some of the genetic factors that contribute to the appearance of ankylosing spondylitis are the IL23R and ERAP1 genes, as well as some of their polymorphisms such as the SNP rs10889677 and rs11209026, all of them studied in our genetic test.

The relevant role of genetics in the etiopathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis implies an increased risk of onset in those with a family history.

With tellmeGen’s DNA test you will be able to know your susceptibility to suffer from ankylosing spondylitis and, thanks to this, adopt measures for its prevention.