Newswise — (Kansas City, MO): The Vasculitis Foundation (VF) funded a new two-year study led by Susan Jick, Dsc, Professor of Epidemiology Director Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance Program Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts. The VF provided the $ $98,641 award through its Vasculitis Research Program.

Vasculitis is an inflammation of blood vessels which is mistakenly thought to be an attack by the immune system. It can affect any of the body's blood vessels and be fatal if left untreated. Most of the vasculitic syndromes respond well to steroid drugs, but vasculitis can still lead to organ damage or even death from its effect on blood vessels, flares (new symptoms develop), and treatment side effects. Thus, reducing the risk of undesired outcomes or death in patients living with vasculitis becomes an important treatment goal.

Jick says the project will use the UK-based Clinical Practice Research Datalink, which provides de-identified electronic health data for a large primary care population, to identify a vasculitis population (including patients with giant cell arteritis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, and Polyarteritis nodosa) and a non-vasculitis population with similar age and sex distribution.

“This project will also estimate the rates of death at 1, 3, 5 and 10 years of follow-up after the first vasculitis diagnosis and compare them to the corresponding rates in the non-vasculitis population,” explains Jick. “An essential goal of this study will be identifying potential risk factors for death using a survival analysis. This study will improve our understanding of vasculitis-related health problems and lead to better treatment.”

Learn more about this VF funded study at:

This study is one of three protocols funded in 2015 through the VF Research Program, which is supported by donations from supporters.

The Vasculitis Foundation collaborates with researchers around the world to support the most promising vasculitis studies. The purpose of the VF Research Program is to provide one- or two-year seed grants to support pilot studies in quality research to improve the quality of life for patients with vasculitis and ultimately find the cause/s and cure for vasculitis.

Since 1986, the Vasculitis Foundation has empowered patients through disease education, raising awareness of vasculitis in the general public and medical community, and funding research to determine the cause, develop more effective treatments, and discover a cure. The VF is committed to improving the lives of current and future patients and is positioned as the definitive resource for patients, family members, medical professionals and researchers seeking information about vasculitis.

For information about vasculitis and the Vasculitis Foundation visit