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Physical fitness in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (completed)

Exercise is recommended as a cornerstone in the management of ankylosing spondylitis together with medication. This project aims at increasing our knowledge about the relationship between different types of exercise and factors such as disease activity, inflammation markers and cardiovascular health in this patient group.



  • Compare physical fitness, including cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular capacity, flexibility and motor control, in patients with ankylosing spondylitis with population controls
  • Investigate the relationship between physical fitness and factors as disease activity, inflammation markers, body composition and cardiovascular risk factors.
  • Investigate the effect of a structured exercise program on disease activity and cardiovascular risk factors in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.


Ankylosing spondylitis  is an inflammatory rheumatic disease with an overall prevalence between 0.1 % and 1.4 %. The main focus for exercise programs for patients with ankylosing spondylitis have traditionally been improvement or maintenance of spinal mobility. However, there is now empirical evidence of an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases in this patient group. This observation indicates that we should have an emphasize also on exercises aiming at improve cardiovascular health in the management of this patient group.


  • The Norwegian Fund for Post-Graduate Training in Physiotherapy
  • The Norwegian Rheumatism Association


This project is a part of a comprehensive study at Diakonhjemmet Hospital.

Project start and finish

2009 – 2014

Published May 31, 2011 8:40 PM - Last modified July 27, 2016 2:21 PM


Project leader

Hanne Dagfinrud


Silje Halvorsen


Detailed list of participants