Characterising comorbidity in patients with RA in Europe: a multi-national federated analysis of big healthcare data


There is a need to better understand how comorbidity and frailty affect people with RMDs. Comorbidity usually increases with age, with the elderly and frail most affected. Often, patients with RMDs gather comorbidities that can have a negative effect on achieving both early diagnosis but also good responses to treatment. Some early data suggest that certain types of comorbidity may be seen in certain groups of people. Furthermore, although evidence suggests that comorbidities reduce the chances of good treatment responses, it remains unclear whether this is due to direct effects of comorbidities on RMDs, or through other mechanisms, such as for example the concurrent use of multiple medications.

Facts and figures

Project lead
D Prieto-Alhambra
University of Oxford
FOREUM research grant: €200'000

Meet the team

D Prieto-Alhambra
University of Oxford
K Hyrich
University of Manchester
D Courvoisier
Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève
E Nikiphorou
King's College London
A Strangfeld
German Rheumatism Research Centre
M Pombo
University Hospital Santiago de Compostela
J Závada
Charles University Prague
M Svoboda
Masaryk University Brno


There is scarce data on how comorbidity and frailty affect patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Registry data provide an exceptional opportunity, and common data models will enable multinational federated collaboration. We will develop and test a structured approach for the assessment of comorbidity in people with RA in Europe.

Patient voice

Two patient research partners and PARE members (Irene Pitsillidou and Savia de Souza) are named co-applicants in our proposal. They will be involved as research partners throughout all stages of the application: from the ethics applications to study completion, data interpretation and dissemination. At least one Expert Patient will be included in the steering group and will take part in the project-management meetings. Patients will be involved at every stage of the research cycle and will be co-authors on publications/conference abstracts.