Burden and impact of comorbidity and frailty in patients with RMDs in Europe: a multi-national 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

Project Lead

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. During ths project a structured approach for the assessment of comorbidity in people with RA in Europe will be developed and tested.


Month 3: Data access approvals for all data sources
Month 12: Mapping of all contributing data sources to OMOP and related reports
Month 15: Report/paper on the availability of comorbidity information in all data sources
Month 24: Report/paper on the burden of comorbidity
Month 33: Report/paper on the clusters of comorbidity in the different populations
Month 36: Final study report and closure

Interim Results

The project involves the mapping of baseline data to the OMOP common data model from five registries: Czech (ATTRA), Spanish (BIOBADASER), British (BSRBR-RA), German (RABBIT), and Swiss  (SCQM). A federated analysis of data on the comorbidities is to be performed using the mapped data.

To date, all of the required data from each of the registries were mapped to the OMOP CDM. Each registry now has a database set up with their mapped data. A series of quality control checks were performed.


  • Poster EULAR Congress 2020
    OPO285: Towards implementing the OMOP CDM across five European biologic registries
    E. Burn, L. Kearsley-Fleet, K. Hyrich, M. Schaefer, D. Huschek, A. Strangfeld, J. Zavada, M. Lagová, D. Courvoisier, C. Tellenbach, K. Lauper, C. Sánchez-Piedra, N. Montero, J. T. Sanchez-Costa, D. Prieto-Alhambra.
    View poster

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.

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