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Arthritis Research Canada (ARC) would like to thank the BC Ministry of Health, LifeLabs, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Lab, and Population Data BC-UBC for their tremendous support on Dr. Avina-Zubieta’s project linking laboratory data to administrative health data in patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic disorders (SARDs). The hallmark of these disorders (e.g., lupus and related diseases) is the malfunction of the immune system to attack the body’s own tissues. This research will determine the disease burden of SARDs.

Throughout this project, the BC Ministry of Health, LifeLabs, VCH lab, and Population Data BC-UBC were not only accommodating in providing ARC access to de-identified data (no personal information is shared with the research team) but also showcased their commitment to research excellence through their agreement to participate in the linkage of their databases.  Having access to all laboratory test data will provide researchers a unique benefit as these datasets are important to the diagnosis, management and prognosis of SARDs. This does not exist in any equivalent population database in Canada, and results from two years of determination and hard work of the organizations listed above. Thanks to the precedent set by this undertaking, ARC and BC will continue leading research that matters to patients.  Dr. Avina-Zubieta and ARC would like to recognize and extend a thank you to these organizations for their hard work and commitment to this achievement!

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