Preventing Complications from Inflammatory Skin, Joint and Bowel Conditions

Project 1: Reducing the Burden of Complications from Inflammatory Diseases



A sub study of PRECISION: Preventing Complications from Inflammatory Skin, Joint and Bowel Conditions

Project Lead: Antonio Aviña-Zubieta MD, MSc, PhD. Senior Scientist, Arthritis Research Canada, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia

For a list of team members involved in this study click here.

Study Start Date:
 2014 Study End Date: 2022


Why do this research?


Thanks to better treatment, people with inflammatory diseases of the skin, joint, or bowel are now more likely to die from complications of the disease than the disease itself. In this study, we are focusing on complications that occur more frequently in those living with inflammatory diseases compared to the rest of the population, such as heart attacks, strokes, blood clots in the legs and lungs, severe infections, hip fractures, selected cancers, diabetes and chronic lung disease.

In this sub-project of the PRECISION study, we will examine:

  1. How common these complications are, and how they impact individuals (e.g., financial costs, use of health services).
  2. If inflammation is the cause of these complications and if there are other factors that can increase or decrease the risk of these complications.

This research is a crucial step in finding out how to reduce and prevent the burden of complications for people living with inflammatory diseases.


What will be done?


Using databases held by the British Columbia (BC) Ministry of Health, we will analyze physician’s diagnostic codes to identify new and existing cases of complications in patients with psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARDs), ankylosing spondylitis, gout, osteoarthritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. This data will also help us to identify the costs of treatment and health services for complications. For the first time in British Columbia, these records will also be linked to health information reported by patients and laboratory services to provide a much more detailed assessment of whether inflammation is causing the complications of interest.

We will also use administrative databases held by Alberta Health and Wellness to assess the frequency of inflammatory arthritis in Alberta’s Indigenous Peoples. In total, we will have access to health information of over 3 million Canadians for the purposes of this sub-study.


Who is involved?


Our team includes 11 of the 30 researchers who are members of the PRECISION study team who have had over 10 years’ experience working with administrative databases focusing on inflammatory diseases. From the planning stages of this sub-study, our team has worked closely with a group of patients representing skin, joint, and bowel diseases to make sure the questions asked can make a difference to those living with inflammatory diseases.


Who is funding this research?


  • Canadian Institute for Health Research
  • Crohn’s and Colitis Canada


Did you receive an invitation to participate in our survey?

We’re sending out invitation packages to a random selection of adults in British Columbia who may or may not have been diagnosed with an inflammatory disease.

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