Clinically I work as a fellow in rheumatology at the center for rheumatology in Stockholm. I defended my thesis “Predictors and early biomarkers in Giant Cell Arteritis” in March 2022 at Lund university and am now a postdoc at the unit for clinical epidemiology at KI, Team Marie Holmqvist.
Since I wrote my thesis on Giant Cell Arteritis which is a form of large vessel vasculitis, I gained interest in other forms of vasculitis and wanted to work with large data. My postdoc project will be on Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV), a group of small vessel vasculitides, that includes granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), microscopic polyangiitis (MPA), and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA). AAV can occur at any age, but often debuts when patients are young, in reproductive and workforce active age. AAV affects many organ systems, including lungs, skin, kidneys, often with considerable organ damage as a consequence. It might have a large impact on both patients’ quality of life and survival. New treatment options have in recent years advanced the treatment of AAV.
New treatment options have presumably led to a decrease in mortality, but there is a gap of knowledge on epidemiological information overall and if it changes over time with better treatment. Due to the rareness of AAV most epidemiological studies are small and community based. The aims of these studies are to first determine the incidence and prevalence of AAVs using national Swedish registers, today, and changes over the last decades. We will also examine possible risk factors for disease development such as infections and investigate the burden of comorbidities at time of diagnosis. To find out the long-term effect of new treatments of AAV, we will study mortality (overall and cause-specific) between patients with AAV and comparators from the general population over time.
Hopefully by answering the questions above we will gain knowledge on the burden of AAVs in Sweden today and over time. We will learn if we are treating our patients optimally and if there are any differences between regions. Knowledge on risk factors and comorbidities might contribute to further knowledge on the etiology of AAVs as well as provide clinicians with information on who is at risk for developing AAV and if there are comorbidities that should be screened for in this group of patients.