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Research project

Osteoarthritis and comorbidities

Status: Ongoing (November 2019 - 2022)

To determine which chronic conditions are associated with osteoarthritis, to investigate the causality between osteoarthritis and its comorbidities and to calculate their impact.

What we do

About our project

Aims of this project
This research program aims to examine osteoarthritis (OA) and:

  1. Prevalence and incidence of its comorbidities, and time sequence between OA and comorbidities;
  2. Clusters and impact of comorbidities in people with OA;
  3. Association between commonly used analgesics such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and comorbidities;
  4. Causality between OA (or a phenotype, biomarker and risk factor of OA) and comorbidities;
  5. Consistency of its comorbidities and clusters across countries.

Four national/regional registration databases in the UK, Netherlands, Sweden and Spain will be used for the first three research questions. Two cohort studies (the UK Biobank and the Rotterdam study) will be used to examine the causality. Finally data from different countries will be meta-analysed for consistency between countries.

Our research focus

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a known cause of disability in older people. However, little research has been done into its comorbidities. A recent study has found that 67% of people with OA have other chronic diseases, which is about two times more than controls without OA. Whether these comorbidities just co-exist with, share common risk factors, cause or are consequences of OA remains unknown.

This research will learn us what the key chronic conditions associated with OA and the time sequence between OA and its comorbidities are. The international collaboration will help to validate the findings and increase the generalisability of the findings.

Funds & Grants

Foundation for Research in Rheumatology (FOREUM)


University of Nottingham, the UK, led by Prof Weiya Zhang
Lund University, Sweden, led by Prof Martin Englund
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, led by Prof Daniel Prieto-Alhambra

Our team

A. Kamps, a.kamps@erasmusmc.nl
Dr. J. Runhaar (co-promotor), j.runhaar@erasmusmc.nl
Prof. S.M.A. Bierma-Zeinstra (promotor), s.bierma-zeinstra@erasmusmc.nl

Contact address for the project: a.kamps@erasmusmc.nl.