Award title: SPCR GP Career Progression Award
Project Title: Can we diagnose rare Antinuclear antibody-associated autoimmune diseases earlier?
Rare disease patients often experience diagnostic delay, both burdensome and costly to patients and health systems. Antinuclear antibody (ANA)-associated diseases are rare autoimmune diseases, affecting multiple organs and frequently delayed in diagnosis. The key investigation, an ANA test, is typically performed in primary care but is often difficult to interpret. Many patients with a positive test have no apparent disease (at least at the time of testing) but may later develop disease, however it is unclear which of these ANA +ve patients is at greater risk.
In this study I will use a large primary care data base (CPRD) linked to hospital data to examine the characteristics of those who have had an ANA test in primary care and what happens to them. I will describe the natural history and subsequent diagnoses of patients with a positive ANA result, and identify features that suggest those who may later develop ANA-associated diseases.
The results of this study will give us a better understanding of which ANA positive patients will later develop disease. This could improve health outcomes by better surveillance of these targeted patients and reducing the burden of unnecessary referral and investigations for those assessed at lower risk.
Start date: 11/3/2022
End date: 10/3/2024