Last year (to the day exactly) I wrote about the signs of AS and mentioned that one of the signs is having a family history of AS. And in particular one called HLA-B27. In my post I gave a brief overview of what it meant, but I found a much more detailed explanation while I was looking around for something else. It’s called “The ramifications of HLA-B27” – it’s an entry in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine so it’s rather technical. (I think I managed to understand about 1/2 to 2/3 of it, but it looked detailed and the parts that I understood looked accurate as I understand it.)
Basically, the upshot is, if you have some of the symptoms of inflammatory back pain then your doctor can send you for a blood test. (If you’re a white Brit) You have an 8% chance of having the HLA-B27 gene. Only 1.3% of the people with the HLA-B27 gene have Ankylosing Spondylitis. (That’s a 0.00104% chance of you having AS and being HLA-B27 positive by the way – we’re rare, although some call us special…)
But the weird thing is, somewhere between 90-95% of people with Ankylosing Spondylitis have this gene. So, by itself, the HLA-B27 test (don’t worry, you’ll feel a little prick) isn’t much use. BUT if you’re already showing symptoms of inflammatory back pain and your doctor wants some more evidence, then the test can give a 90-95% accurate confirmation…
So, there’s a fun fact for the day, and if you want to know why I decided to try to explain that one, it’s because of today’s 30 Day Song Challenge: “A song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget about”
Ethan’s Step Count
This Week: 40,607
Daily Ave: 10,151
To support Ethan’s WYASO team, the Orange Apples you can donate to their JustGiving Page, or go directly to the NASS website. Don’t worry if you don’t have any spare money, all I’d really like is for awareness of Ankylosing Spondylitis to be raised, talk about it, read about it, and keep your eyes open for the signs.