The purpose of this study was to clarify the clinical characteristics of spondyloarthritis (SpA) patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) compared to those without IBD. Furthermore, among patients with SpA and IBD, we aimed to clarify what clinical characteristics lead rheumatologists to diagnose “IBD-related arthritis.” Utilizing SpA and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients’ data from an international, cross-sectional, observational study, we analyzed information on demographics and disease characteristics, dichotomizing patients by IBD status. The presence or absence of IBD was determined based on data collection of treating rheumatologists. Patients with SpA (including PsA) and IBD were also categorized based on treating rheumatologists’ definitive diagnosis in regard to SpA type, and compared by whether the patients had IBD-related arthritis or not. Among 4465 SpA patients, 287 (6.4%, 95%CI 5.7–7.2%) were identified with IBD. Compared to SpA patients without IBD, patients with SpA and IBD had a longer diagnostic delay (5.1 vs. 2.9 years, p < 0.001). In patients with SpA and IBD, 111 (38.7%, 95%CI 33.0–44.6%) were diagnosed with IBD-related arthritis. Multivariable analyses showed that HLA-B27 positivity [OR = 0.35, (95%CI 0.15–0.80)], psoriasis [OR = 0.14, (95%CI 0.04–0.50)], IBD as first symptom of SpA [OR = 3.32, (95%CI 1.84–6.01)], and need for IBD-specific treatment [OR = 5.41, (95%CI 2.02–14.50)] were independently associated with the definitive diagnosis of IBD-related arthritis. Collaboration with gastroenterologists is needed to shorten the diagnostic delay in patients with SpA and IBD. The recognition of the factors for the diagnosis of “IBD-related arthritis” may lead to the elucidation of the pathogenesis.
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