Childhood Arthritis Prospective Study (CAPS)

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common chronic rheumatic disease of childhood. Within the UK, approximately 10 per 100,000 children develop inflammatory arthritis (IA) per year. The clinical phenotype of childhood arthritis is complex and outcome is variable with around one third of children estimated to have active disease into adulthood and up to 60% of all patients continuing to have some limitation of their activities of daily living.

The risk factors for developing childhood arthritis are largely unknown but as with many other arthritic diseases, it is thought to be a complex condition in which both genetic and environmental factors determine disease susceptibility and outcome.

Much of the research to date has focused on trying to identify risk factors (both environmental and genetic) for susceptibility to inflammatory arthritis in children. However it is important to also evaluate predictors of outcome in order to understand the long-term prognosis of the disease based on current classification and treatment regimes.

The aim of this programme of work is to identify the predictors of outcome, both short- and long-term, following presentation with childhood onset inflammatory arthritis and to identify the relative contributions of socio-demographic, clinical, psychological, laboratory and genetic factors and treatment in explaining outcome.

To address this we have established a long-term prospective inception cohort study of children with newly diagnosed inflammatory arthritis.

Applying to use CAPS data

CAPS is a multi-centre study involving the collection of clinical data and laboratory materials on children with new presentation with inflammatory arthritis. Prior to submitting a formal application to access to CAPS data/samples; intending applicants are strongly advised to contact either Wendy Thomson ( or Kimme Hyrich ( at the Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit in Manchester to discuss the requirements for their project and ensure that CAPS is able to supply them with samples and/or clinical data in a format that is suitable for their proposal.

For further information on the application procedure please see refer to 'Applying to use CAPS data'  or contact Andrew Smith at the address below:

Andrew Smith
CAPS Study Coordinator
Centre for Musculoskeletal Research
Institute of Inflammation and Repair
The University of Manchester
Manchester Academic Health Science Centre
Stopford Building
Oxford Road
M13 9PT


This study is undertaken in collaboration with:

  • Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow
  • Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London
  • Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital
  • Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • UCLH - University College London Hospital
  • Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh

Contact/Principal investigators