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Understanding Ankylosing Spondylitis

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Causes

The exact cause of ankylosing spondylitis is not well understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The majority of individuals with AS have a specific gene called HLA-B27, although not everyone with this gene develops the condition. Environmental factors, such as infections or certain bacteria in the gut, may also play a role in triggering AS in genetically susceptible individuals. Additionally, a family history of AS or other related conditions, such as psoriasis or inflammatory bowel disease, increases the risk of developing AS. While the exact mechanisms are still being studied, it is clear that AS is a complex condition with multiple contributing factors.

Smoking may increase the risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis, as it has been shown to worsen the symptoms and progression of the condition. Quitting smoking may therefore be beneficial for individuals with AS in managing their symptoms and overall health.

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