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More than 1,100 Spanish patients to participate at the EMARTRO study for the evaluation of the impact of OA-associated conditions

8 Oct 2014

Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint disease that may cause or worsen other conditions, such as hypertension, obesity or diabetes.
This new study aims at analyzing the prevalence of co-morbidities, and to evaluate the patients’ level of pain, functional capacity, quality of life or overall health condition, among others. It is an epidemiological, observational, multi-center, transversal and comparative trial between patients with and without osteoarthritis. It will be carried out at different healthcare centers in Spain under the auspices of SEMERGEN with the collaboration of Bioiberica Farma. 

Bilbao, October 8, 2014. Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint disease affecting more than seven million Spaniards. It causes pain and inflammation and hinders mobility, thus seriously affecting the quality of life of those suffering from it. Furthermore, recent studies reveal that osteoarthritis may cause, or worsen, other conditions such hypertension, obesity, diabetes or hepatic disease. 
With the aim of evaluating the health situation of Spaniards suffering from symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, and what co-morbidities they do present, the Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians, SEMERGEN, has, with the collaboration of Bioiberica Farma, launched the EMARTRO study (Study for the Evaluation of Co-Morbidities in Patients Suffering from Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis). It is an epidemiological, observational, multi-center, transversal and comparative study of patients with and without osteoarthritis; carried out by a number of primary care centers in Spain. “At SEMERGEN we are aware that osteoarthritis has a strong personal, familial and social impact. This is the reason why we put the focus of the research of this disease towards the primary care provider, the specialist who is generally closer to the patient,” declared Dr. Jesús Vergara Martín, general practitioner and member of the scientific committee.
The study will recruit 1,150 patients between the ages of 55 to 80, with half of them have symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, and 72 general practitioners that will collaborate in data collection. “Everyday at our offices we see knee OA patients that walk less and less and do little exercise. This sedentary behavior increases the risk of hypertension, higher levels of sugar, cholesterol or obesity. And having these conditions further aggravates osteoarthritis. If we know these co- morbidities and work to keep them under control, the quality of life for the OA patient will improve”, declared Dr. Sergio Giménez Basallote, a family physician and national-level coordinator of the musculoskeletal group of the SEMERGEN.
Towards that end, the study collects the patients’ demographic data, ongoing pharmacological treatments, presence of co-morbidities such as hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, renal disease, osteoporosis… pain intensity, functional capacity, quality of life and overall condition, both physical and mental, among others. “This joint project with SEMERGEN will provide us with a picture of the situation of osteoarthritis in Spain and will allow us to renew and complement the data already available. Furthermore, we will learn which conditions are most closely associated with osteoarthritis, be able to identify groups of patients and see which drugs are more secure for each group”, stated Dr. Josep Vergés, clinical pharmacologist and Bioiberica’s medical and scientific director.
The study, which is now in the patient recruitment phase, will be presented next Friday at the 36th National congress of SEMERGEN that will be held at Bilbao. It is expected that the first results will be available by mid 2015.