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Approved research

Study to indenify risk factors for RA, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease

Principal Investigator: Dr Duncan Porter
Approved Research ID: 3966
Approval date: September 1st 2013

Lay summary

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a common type of arthritis, affecting >600,000 people in the UK. It can cause pain, stiffness and disability. People with RA may also develop other illnesses, such as heart disease or osteoporosis (thinning of the bones). Some people are more prone to develop RA because of their genes, but other lifestyle factors such as smoking are also important. As a result of their genes and exposure to these other factors, some people develop antibodies in their blood stream, called rheumatoid factor (RF) or anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA). At this stage, people usually don't have any symptoms. Months or years later, some (but not all) people develop aches and pains, and some time later full blown arthritis can emerge. We request immediate access to baseline information in UKB (including biomarker and genotype data, when available) from all participants, and in due course follow-up data about hospital admissions and new illnesses that develop over time. We plan to study risk factors for developing RA and the illnesses that are sometimes associated with it (such as osteoporosis and heart disease) by comparing those people who already have RA, those who have RF and/or ACPA but who don't have RA (who are likely to develop RA in time), and the rest of the UKB population This study will identify the world's largest group of subjects with RF/ACPA before the diagnosis of RA. Identifying those factors that are related to the development of RF/ACPA in the blood at first, and then the subsequent development of full blown RA will give insights into the cause of RA. In due course, we will submit linked applications to study the samples of ACPA +ve individuals in more detail.