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How common is for a person in 60s or 70s of developing rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis?

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Posted on Tue, 7 Aug 2012
Question: What might be the probability in the 60s or 70s of someone developing rheumatoid arthritis or lung ankolysing spondylitis if their mother and sister had it (with osteoarthritis?

And how common is it for a person to around the age of 50 to begin developing (painless) crooked finger joints from OA along with basal osteoarthritis?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Divya Agarwal (23 hours later)
Hello XXXXXX
The first part of your answer is that probability of developing rheumatoid arthritis in your 60s would be high, probably 40-50% of the people would be developing it then.
As far is ankylosing spondylitis is concerned it would be rare because it generally develops before the age of 40.
If the family history is positive then the chances of developing the disease is higher than in the general population but I don't think it correlates with the age of onset of the disease.
Having it with osteoarthritis does not change things.
Lung ankylosing spondylitis would be a late complication of ankylosing spondylitis and could present in the 60s.

It is fairly common to start developing crooked fingers from generalized
osteoarthritis called nodular osteoarthritis.
I hope I have been able to answer your question.
Let me know if you need any more information.
Regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Divya Agarwal (1 hour later)
Thank you. In my wife's case, her mother passed away at 77 years old as a result of the ankylosing spondylitis in her lungs which she developed four or five years ealier and required portable oxygen. She also had osteoarthritis in her hands and feet and spine.
Her eldest daughter also has osteoarthritis as well as a diagnosis of Sjorgens Syndrome (tears and saliva).
My wife is the youngest daughter and before turning fifty she started to develop osteoarthritis in several fingers, although it might be exacerbated because she was a hair stylist working with her hands alot. In her lower vertebrae she has some stenosis, osteoarthritis and some ankylosing spondylitis. She is negative for the blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis.
So does this all mean that in 10 or 20 years my wife is more than likely to develop the spondylitis in her lungs which was fatal to her mother and aunt?
And what is the correlation between osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, and does it always go to the lungs?
I am a bit unclear of the terminology. Perhaps the lung disease is called pulmonary fibrosis rather than ankylosing sponyliitis. Is there a diffeence?? Thanks.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Divya Agarwal (8 hours later)
Hi XXXXXX
Thanks for writing back.
I don't think you need to worry regarding the lung fibrosis. The osteoarthritis which your wife has is localized to the joints and does not affect the lungs.
Her mother probably had lung fibrosis as you rightly said but that is a totally different condition and the two diseases generally don't coexist.
I hope I have clarified things.
Please feel free to ask follow up
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Divya Agarwal (1 hour later)
Thank you again. Yes, her mother and aunt did have the osteoarthritis and pulmonary fibrosis, and I was thinking that the two are not a coincidence, or at least that certain types of people have a predisposition to these diseases.
And my wife's older sister has osteoarthritis and Sjorgen's Syndrome. She is 76. But apparently neither she nor the other sisters has pulmonary fibrosis, so maybe it skips a generation genetically.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Divya Agarwal (2 hours later)
Hi,

Yes, pulmonary fibrosis could have a genetic predisposition to it, but then there are some environmental factors too like smoke exposure. Therefore, it is not as if everyone in the family will develop the disease.

It is not possible to predict who will develop the disease. In addition, it is not essential that your wife or her sister should develop it.

Hope this clarifies.

Do write back in case of follow up queries that you may have.

Regards,

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Follow up: Dr. Divya Agarwal (7 hours later)
Yes ironically both my wife's aunt and her mother were light to moderate smokers. And both had osteoarthritis and pulmonary fibrosis.
It almost seems as if the disease correlates with a smoker who has osteoarthritis.
I was overly concerned because my wife shows some ankylosing spondylitis in her lower spine and her sister with osteoarthritis developed Sjorgens Syndrome.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Divya Agarwal (2 hours later)
Hi XXXXXX
I feel that osteoarthritis and pulmonary fibrosis are not related, what symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis does your wife have?
If you are concerned then she can probably undergo a pulmonary function test,but if she is asymptomatic then she does not require anything.
I hope I have clarified your query
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Divya Agarwal (1 hour later)
My wife is asymptomatic. I guess there's no use checking for nothng.
The chiropractor found some ankylosing spondylitis between two vertebrae. It was two years ago so I don't recall exactly. She is not usually symptomatic but the Xrays found a bit of a mess in those two vertebrae. Some stenosis, arthritis a slightly bulging disk, and spondylitis.
How does one explain the coincidence two sisters (my wife's aunt and mother) both suffering from osteoarthritis and pulmonary fibrosis? So far no one else in the family has this combination. In fact my wife tells me that only she and two of her three older sisters inherited osteoarthritis. So far no cousins in the same age range have it or Sjogrens, etc.
Is Lyrica prescribed for fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis as an alternative to Tramadol? My wife was prescribed with Ultram, 50 mg., 1-2 tablets X3 per day and felt two was pretty strong. Thank you.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Divya Agarwal (35 hours later)
Hi XXXXXX
Yes that is right she might be having spondylitis which is actually a part of osteoarthritis. So ankylosing spondylitis on the other hand is a specific diagnosis where sacroiliitis is a hallmark. So I doubt if she actually has ankylosing spondylitis

I think it is by chance that the two have inherited two different diseases, otherwise there is no other correlation

Yes, lyrica is a good drug for fibromyalgia. Ultram too is perfectly safe for osteoarthritis.
Hope that clears things.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
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Dr. Divya Agarwal

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How common is for a person in 60s or 70s of developing rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis?

Hello XXXXXX
The first part of your answer is that probability of developing rheumatoid arthritis in your 60s would be high, probably 40-50% of the people would be developing it then.
As far is ankylosing spondylitis is concerned it would be rare because it generally develops before the age of 40.
If the family history is positive then the chances of developing the disease is higher than in the general population but I don't think it correlates with the age of onset of the disease.
Having it with osteoarthritis does not change things.
Lung ankylosing spondylitis would be a late complication of ankylosing spondylitis and could present in the 60s.

It is fairly common to start developing crooked fingers from generalized
osteoarthritis called nodular osteoarthritis.
I hope I have been able to answer your question.
Let me know if you need any more information.
Regards