RMDs usually occur in conjunction with other diseases (comorbidities). Comorbidities may affect the natural course of the RMD, determine the overall state of the patient and influence treatment decisions. Traditionally, RMDs are seen as isolated diseases and one does not account for comorbidities. However, in real life, not least due to the ageing population, comorbidities become increasingly important. Comorbidities develop independently from the respective RMD, although sometimes the underlying RMD may increase the risk for certain comorbidities.

FOREUM considers studies on comorbidities of key importance for
patients with RMDs as they help to better interpret the overall patients’ condition and prognosis.

FOREUM instigated a call for research proposals to support projects in the following areas:

  • Structured approaches to determine the incidence and prevalence of comorbidities in RMDs
  • Development of instruments that take into account the impact of comorbidities on patients disease state
  • Studies that aim to unravel new functional relationships between RMDs and comorbidities
  • Concepts that take into account comorbidities in the treatment of RMDs
  • Strategies that help to improve the management of comorbidities in patients with RMDs.

24 letter of intent were received, peer reviewed and thorougly evaluated. As a result, three projects are being funded.

Immunomeolites to stratify Systemic Lupus Erythematosus patients at high risk of cardio vascular diseases (IMSLE)
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Comorbidities in osteoarthritis
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Burden and impact of co-morbidity and frailty in patients with RMDs in Europe: a multi-national analysis of big healthcare data
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