Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis

Disease - Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis

Lead applicant - Professor William Dixon

Organisation - University of Manchester

Type of grant - Centre of Excellence Full

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £1,999,419

Start date - 1 August 2018

Reference - 21755

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis investigates the causes, progress and treatment responses of musculoskeletal conditions, with a particular focus on inflammatory arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis) and osteoarthritis.

The centre was originally launched in 2013 and has been awarded a further five years funding. The researchers aim to answer two key questions:

  1. What factors are associated with the onset and the different outcomes of musculoskeletal conditions?
  2. How effective and safe are available treatments for musculoskeletal conditions?

Why is this research important?

Epidemiology is the science of studying large groups of people to identify the causes and risk factors of disease. People with musculoskeletal conditions, as well as their carers, want to know what the future holds for them and their condition. This centre aims to address this question by studying the day-to-day changes in disease and long-term outcomes, including the impact on people’s lives. As well as this, research at this centre will generate new information about treatment effectiveness and side effects, which will allow more informed decision-making in the future.

This centre is perfectly positioned to answer these questions as they already have access to large groups of people with musculoskeletal conditions. They will use cutting edge methods to collect and analyse data such as the use of digital technology including smartphones and wearable technology. They will also develop new methods of analysis for large datasets.

How will the findings benefit patients?

The centre will have a dedicated programme of communication and NHS implementation to ensure research findings will positively influence how people with musculoskeletal conditions are treated. This will promote better outcomes for people living with musculoskeletal conditions and through collaborative partnerships, this centre will form part of an international leadership in musculoskeletal condition epidemiology, in a new digital era.

For more information on the centre, visit the centre's website.