Key research outputs
Since our Centre was established in August 2013, we have published 297 original research articles and 85 review articles and editorials.
The findings of our research demonstrate clear benefits to patients. Some findings have been used to inform and develop guidelines and policy for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.
Key findings are summarised below, with a link to the relevant research output.
We have discovered:
- weekly alcohol consumption of less than 14 units per week is not associated with an increased risk of elevated liver enzymes in methotrexate users (Humphreys et al, 2017);
- early treatment is associated with improved mortality and disability over 20 years following the onset of early inflammatory arthritis (Gwinnutt et al, 2017);
- pre-existing damage was an important predictor of future damage accrual and mortality in SLE patients but modifiable risk factors were identified that could improve long-term outcomes (Bruce et al, 2015);
- several easily ascertained clinical and lifestyle factors can be used to stratify populations for risk of inflammatory polyarthritis (Lahiri et al, 2014);
- patellar brace therapy reduced knee pain and shrunk bone marrow lesions in people with knee osteoarthritis (Callaghan et al, 2015);
- using a knee support should not be discouraged because of concerns about deleterious effects on quadriceps strength and inhibition (Callaghan et al, 2016);
- The anti-TNF drug etanercept is associated with an accelerated growth rate in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) patients (Kearsley-Fleet et al, 2015);
- The risk of 'medically significant' infections, but not infections leading to hospitalisation, is increased in patients starting etanercept compared to methotrexate (Davies et al, 2015).
Our research has influenced policy and the development of guidelines in the following areas:
- treat-to-target guidelines in systemic lupus erythematosus (Bruce et al, 2014);
- guidelines on treatment of psoriatic arthritis (Hyrich et al, 2013);
- several EULAR guidelines including reporting, screening and prevention of comorbidities (Dixon et al, 2016), the safety of glucocorticoid therapy (Dixon et al, 2016), and cardiovascular risk management (Symmons et al, 2017);
- our biologics research has also been presented at an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Science.
We also enjoy good media coverage of our research, including:
- our reports of smoking-related mortality in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA);
- the risk of diabetes associated with oral glucocorticoid therapy;
- low influenza and pneumococcal vaccination uptake in patients with RA;
- Cloudy with a Chance of Pain, our first smartphone study which successfully recruited more than 13,000 participants, has received extensive media interest including national television, and national and international radio and newspaper features following its launch in January 2016. See a sample of our media coverage for this study.