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A type of Arthritis is often associated with being a disease that affects older people, but today the spotlight is on a condition where symptoms typically start aged at just 24.
Doesn’t roll off the tongue but non -radiographic axial Spondy-lo-arthritis commonly affects people under the age of 45 and it can take around 8 years for patients to receive a diagnosis. Many young patients go on to develop irreversible damage to the spine whilst waiting for this. If left untreated in severe cases, the spine may fuse causing irreversible damage, subjecting people to a lifetime of intense back pain.
More than half ( 59%) report experiencing mental health problems. It can also impact everyday activities including lost time at work and relationships.
Aston spoke to Dr Raj Sengupta, consultant rheumatologist at Royal National Hospital.