Uncovering the heterogeneity of disease impact in axial spondyloarthritis: bivariate trajectories of disease activity and quality of life

Maike Imkamp, Valeria Lima Passos, Annelies Boonen, Suzanne Arends, Maxime Dougados, Robert Landewe, Sofia Ramiro, Filip Van den Bosch, Desiree van der Heijde, Freke R. Wink, Anneke Spoorenberg, Astrid van Tubergen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective The goal of managing axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) is to improve and maintain patients' health-related quality of life (HRQoL), mainly through targeting towards low disease activity. Here, we aim to gain insight into the joint evolution of HRQoL and disease activity by identifying and characterising latent subgroups of patients with longstanding disease displaying similar trajectories throughout 8 years of follow-up.

Methods Data from Outcome in Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) International Study (n=161) and Groningen Leeuwarden AS cohort (n=264) were used. Biennially, HRQoL was assessed by AS Quality of Life (ASQoL) and disease activity by AS Disease Activity Score-C reactive protein (ASDAS-CRP). Bivariate trajectories of these outcomes were estimated by group-based trajectory modelling. Next, trajectories were profiled by comparing the latent groups with respect to baseline factors using analysis of variance and chi(2) test.

Results Five bivariate trajectories were distinguished, in which ASQoL and ASDAS-CRP were tightly linked: (t1) low impact of disease; (t2) moderate impact; (t3) high impact with major improvement; (t4) high impact with some improvement; (t5) very high impact. Profiling revealed, for example, that (t1) was characterised by male gender and Human Leucocyte Antigen B27 positivity; (t3) by younger age, shorter symptom duration and biological intake and (t5) by the highest proportion of females.

Conclusions We identified five bivariate trajectories of HRQoL and disease activity demonstrating a clear mutual relationship. The profiles revealed that both individual-related and disease-related features define the type of disease course in respect to HRQoL and disease activity in axSpA. This may provide clinicians insight into the differences among patients and help in the management of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number000755
Number of pages8
JournalRMD Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018



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