The role of systemic inflammatory diseases in long-term morbidity and mortality: a retrospective, matched-cohort study in the Clinical Research Practice Datalink
- Principal Investigator: Lorna Clarson
- 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016
- Project No: 255
- Funding round: FR 9
Inflammation is part of the body’s immune defence against harmful stimuli, such as bacteria, but can also be triggered inappropriately as part of a number of “inflammatory” diseases. The unnecessary inflammation produced as a result of these diseases cause symptoms affecting a particular body system, such as psoriasis, (an inflammatory disease of the skin) causing a scaly red rash, or Crohn’s disease, (an inflammatory disease of the bowel) causing abdominal pain and rectal bleeding. However, it has also been suggested that the effect of these persistent inflammatory conditions can be more widespread, and has been linked with the development of serious conditions outside of the system affected by the particular inflammatory condition itself, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and even death.
This study aims to understand the risks of developing, or dying from, other serious conditions such as cancer, heart attacks or strokes in people who have inflammatory diseases, compared to those that don’t. It will use the electronic records kept by general practitioners to compare these risks.
This study is important for patients because many diseases can be more successfully treated, or even prevented, if patients at risk are monitored for the early signs or risk factors that make disease more likely, and it is hoped that by identifying the risks associated with inflammatory conditions, long term outcomes for these patients can be improved.