The impact of COVID-19 and national COVID-19 policies on people with rheumatic diseases; the CORE (COVID-19 in rheumatic diseases) project


The aims of the CORE (COVID-19 in rheumatic diseases) project are to determine the impact of the pandemic on health care utilization for the most frequent RMDs (incl. rheumatoid arthritis (RA), spondyloarthritis (SpA), and osteoarthritis (OA). It will also assess the impact of different national COVID-19 lockdown policies on RMD patients’ healthcare utilisation in comparison with the reference population.

Facts and Figures

Project Lead
M Englund
Lund University
FOREUM research grant: € 100.000

Meet the Team

Project Lead

M Englund
Lund University
K Magnusson
Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH)
S Bierma-Zeinstra
Erasmus MC Netherlands


  • To estimate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic (as a natural experiment) on healthcare utilisation (access to treatments including surgeries, prescribed drugs, etc.) in individuals with and without RMDs
  • To assess the impact of pandemic lockdown restrictions and social distancing on hospitalisation/mortality due to COVID-19 in RMD patients.


  • Data cleaning / analysis and data retrieval
  • Abstract / Publication

Interim Results

EULAR Abstract


  • AB0678: Rates of surgical procedures of the knee and hip during the “first wave” of covid 19 in Sweden. Dell’isola A, Kiadaliri A, Turkiewicz A, et al; Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 2021;80
    Go to EULAR Abstract Archive

Patient Voice

In the absence of a vaccine, protecting vulnerable individuals is the only strategy to reduce the impact of the deadly COVID-19 virus. The CORE project will provide the necessary knowledge to develop precise protection strategies for people with rheumatic disease and, in the eventuality of a vaccine, will help healthcare systems to prioritise people at higher risk. Altogether, this project will provide knowledge that will be immediately useful and will support future efforts against COVID-19 and similar pandemics.

Project Map