One hundred patients with ankylosing spondylitis of at least 5 years' duration were interviewed and examined. In addition to musculoskeletal symptoms, 11 subjects had evidence of a variety of neurological complaints. Nine were unemployed and only nine of the remainder felt the disease had seriously affected their employment. One third of patients had been off work for more than 2 months in the course of the disease but frequently due to associated illness. Most patients did not experience disability with household activities but peripheral joint involvement or serious spinal stiffness increased this risk. Symptoms referrable to athletic pursuits may have first drawn attention to the disease in some individuals and sporting activities were curtailed at a younger age than in controls. Driving caused difficulties in up to 50% of subjects due to poor all-round vision. Cervical spine fractures occurred in two patients.
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