There are more than seven million Canadians who are affected by inflammatory diseases of the skin, joint or bowel. Treatment options have improved, but people are now more likely to die from complications of the disease than the disease itself. With more knowledge on what causes complications and how to reduce them, experts believe prevention is possible.

CHÉOS Scientists Drs. Linda Li and Nick Bansback are part of PRECISION: Preventing Complications from Inflammatory Skin, Joint, and Bowel Conditions. This $2.5 million project spans five years and is led by Dr. John Esdaile, Scientific Director Emeritus, Arthritis Research Canada. It is funded by CIHR and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada.

CHÉOS Scientists Drs. Linda Li and Nick Bansback are part of the PRECISION study team.

More than a million Canadians will be part of PRECISION. The diseases that are being studied include psoriasis (a skin disease); rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and lupus like diseases, ankylosing spondylitis, gout and osteoarthritis (joint diseases); and, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (bowel diseases). Complications appear to be similar across these diseases. They include heart attacks, strokes, blood clots in the legs and lungs, severe infections, hip fractures, selected cancers, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.

By developing ways to prevent complications, this research could help people live better, longer lives, and it also has potential to save money being spent on treating complications.

The PRECISION team consists of over 30 scientists and patients who have been working for a decade on identifying the complications from inflammatory diseases of the skin, joint, or bowel. This multidisciplinary group of researchers include: rheumatologists, dermatologists, gastroenterologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, health economists, ethicists and knowledge translation and digital media experts.