Rheumatology International

, Volume 39, Issue 10, pp 1741–1748 | Cite as

Malignancy risk in Korean male patients with ankylosing spondylitis

  • Bora Nam
  • Hyoungyoung Kim
  • Eun Jin Jang
  • Soo-Kyung Cho
  • Yoon-Kyoung Sung
  • Tae-Hwan KimEmail author


The objective of this study is to determine the overall and specific cancer risks in male patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). From the claims database of the Health Insurance and Review Assessment, male patients with AS without prior cancer history were selected (n = 21,780). Stratified random samples of claims data were used as a reference general male population group (n = 342,361). Incidence rates of overall and types of cancer were presented as number of events per 10,000 person-years with 95% confidence interval (CI). A standardized incidence ratio (SIR) was used to represent the association between AS and cancer, accounting for person-years at risk. Compared to a general male population group, the overall incidence of cancer was increased in male patients with AS (SIR 1.25, 95% CI 1.15–1.36). For specific malignancy types, the risks of male reproductive system malignancy (SIR 1.97, 95% CI 1.59–2.35) and pancreatic cancer (SIR 1.75, 95% CI 1.12–2.37) were increased. Male patients with AS had increased cancer risk, especially for male reproductive system and pancreatic cancer.


Ankylosing spondylitis Cancer Risk Standardized incidence ratio 


Author contributions

Conceptualization: HK, SKC, YKS, THK. Formal analysis: HK, EJJ. Investigation: BN, HK. Methodology: YKS, EJJ. Writing—original draft: BN. Writing—review and editing: YKS, THK.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

To protect patient privacy, the National Health Insurance (NHI) stores beneficiary identifications in an encrypted format and provides data to the public without individual identifiers. Using these data allowed our study to be included in exemption categories (Institutional Review Board file no. HYUH 2018-12-027).

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RheumatologyHanyang University Hospital for Rheumatic DiseasesSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Information StatisticsAndong National UniversityAndongRepublic of Korea

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