Fact: Ankylosing spondylitis is a systemic, or whole body, inflammatory disease that can affect multiple parts of the body including joints and organs. The disease primarily affects the spine and specifically the sacroiliac joints, but it can also cause inflammation and pain in peripheral joints and cause damage to the eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. In addition, the disease can cause significant fatigue and affect sleep and cognitive function.
Myth #7: White men have it the worst
Fact: While symptoms vary in different populations, reports vary on whether men or women overall experience ankylosing spondylitis with greater severity. Symptoms do present somewhat differently by gender; women generally experience more peripheral, or outer joint, symptoms whereas men generally show more axial, or spinal, activity. Additionally, studies have shown that black people experience the disease more severely than other ethnic groups.