The Rarity of Ankylosing Spondylitis in the Black Race


  • Dr. John Baum MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Director, Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Unit, Monroe Community Hospital, Rochester, NY; Associate Professor of Medicine and of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 260 Crittenden Blvd, Rochester, NY 14620. Clinical Scholar, The Arthritis Foundation, New York, NY
    • University of Rochester
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Morris Ziff MD

    1. Director, Rheumatic Diseases Unit, Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Tex
    Search for more papers by this author


Ankylosing spondylitis is apparently rare in the black race. Data collected from Veterans Administration hospitals in different geographic areas of the United States indicates an overall frequency of the disease in black Afro-Americans to be about 25% of that seen in whites. A review of the literature from the Americas and Africa confirms its uncommon occurrence. A postulated inheritance pattern may depend on multigenic factors.