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Project #151:
Venous thromboembolism and cardiovascular events in inflammatory rheumatic diseases

  • Type: Research
  • Topic areas: Risk from COVID (short term) [e.g. hospitalisation/death] and Other/indirect impacts of COVID on health/healthcare

People with inflammatory rheumatological diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are at increased risk of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes when compared to the general population. Inflammation contributes to the risk of these complications, but other factors can also play a role, including other medical conditions and infections. In particular, we know that infection with COVID-19 increases the risk of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. What is not yet understood is whether these complications occur more or less frequently in people with inflammatory rheumatological diseases who are prescribed specific medications.

Our goal is to use routinely collected health data to describe rates of the following complications after COVID-19 infection in people with inflammatory rheumatological diseases: 1) blood clots; 2) heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular complications; and 3) overall mortality.

We will compare the risks of these complications in individuals who are prescribed different groups of medications for their underlying condition (TNF inhibitors; JAK inhibitors; other biologic medications; non-biologic disease-modifying medications). We will account for other factors that might influence the chance of these complications occurring.

This project will provide clinicians with an evidence base on which to support clinical decisions. It will help determine which individuals are at greatest risk of complications, and who may benefit from closer monitoring.