Health Canada asked to fill important knowledge gaps regarding the safety and effectiveness of various drugs. Dr. Bernatsky and her team will use a combined approach, with both clinical cohort data and administrative data, to address the question. The first aim of this project is to evaluate whether mental affecting medication use (selective inhibitors of serotonin or norepinephrine reuptake) is associated with fracture risk. The second objective of this project is to study the comparative effectiveness of antihypertensive treatments among older adults without diabetes, focusing on thiazides monotherapy compared with other monotherapy. Finally, this project will evaluate short-term safety and comparative effectiveness of an insulin analog compared to a natural derivative by studying the risk of hypoglycemia.
Previous studies suggest that depression may be associated with risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Dr. Bernatsky and her team aim to evaluate whether the use of medication that affects the mental state is associated with the risk of bone fracture. They will use CARTaGENE’s data to ascertain a group of individuals exposed to psychotropic medications, as well as a control group composed of unexposed subjects. The outcomes will be established through administrative data linkage, such as physician billing and hospitalization records.
Dr. Bernatsky's research project focuses on the link between air pollution (fine particles and sulfur dioxide) and the autoimmune response that could lead to rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers found a statistical association between the levels of air pollution exposure and the levels of antibodies measured in the samples from the participants of CARTaGENE. These results reinforce initiatives to improve air quality in reducing the burden of chronic environmental diseases.