Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit
The Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit is a unique research institution internationally, in terms of its major focus being understanding the epidemiology of the major rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders. The Unit receives substantial core funding from Arthritis Research UK (formerly the Arthritis Research Campaign, arc) of approximately £2.7 million. The Unit also receives financial support from The University of Manchester and the major grant receiving bodies such as the Medical Research Council, The Wellcome Trust, Department of Health and other funding agencies. These resources support approximately 100 individuals working on a wide variety of different programmes and projects.
The Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit consists of three divisions and includes both laboratory and field-based research.
- Undertaking case control studies, longitudinal observational studies and intervention studies to investigate inflammatory musculoskeletal conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus
- Investigating the co-morbidities associated with inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders and their impact on quality of life and mortality
- Investigating the evolution from acute to chronic musculoskeletal pain
- Studies of bone health from childhood to very old age
- Intervention studies to improve frailty, reduce pain and enhance quality of life
- Investigating the genes that confer increased susceptibility to musculoskeletal conditions, or that influence outcome or response to treatment
- Statistical, database and computer support
- Library, web and information services
- Administrative support
- Research governance, including complying with national regulations and data protection
Research is diverse and multi-disciplinary addressing genetic and environmental risk factors for the development and outcome of musculoskeletal conditions. We also co-ordinate a number of national clinical trials and host the national registers that are investigating the long-term safety of the new biologic drugs in patients with rheumatic diseases.
The unit conducts research in community, primary and secondary care settings and adds to the published evidence on the best treatment for musculoskeletal disorders.
The translation of identified risk factors for the development of disease or of a poor outcome of disease into evidence-based strategies for disease prevention or improvement is the major aim. Investigation of the existence and impact of co-morbidities is also a major theme.
Research is funded by the Arthritis Research UK, the NHS, the European Union, the British Society for Rheumatology, Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, Lupus UK and the British Heart Foundation.