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Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) is the commonest inflammatory condition seen in older patients in primary care. To date, however, research has been focused on secondary care cohorts rather than primary care where many patients are exclusively managed. This two year prospective inception cohort study of PMR patients will enable us to understand the full spectrum of this condition.
Patients diagnosed with PMR in primary care will be identified via Read codes and mailed a series of postal questionnaires over a two-year period to assess their levels of pain, stiffness and functioning, as well as medication usage and other health-related and socio-demographic characteristics. In addition, participants will be asked for permission to link their survey data to their general practice electronic medical record and to national mortality and cancer registers.
This will be the first large-scale, prospective, observational cohort of PMR patients in primary care. The combination of survey data with medical records and national registers will allow for a full investigation of the natural history and prognosis of this condition in the primary care setting, in which the majority of patients are treated, but where little research on the treatment and outcome of consultation has been undertaken. This will provide information that may lead to improved primary care management of PMR.