Norfolk Arthritis Register

What is NOAR?

The Norfolk Arthritis Register (NOAR) is the largest community-based study in the world investigating the cause and outcome of inflammatory polyarthritis (inflammation and swelling of the joints). The Register is funded by the Arthritis Research Campaign  (one of the UK’s leading medical charities) through a grant to the Epidemiology Unit based at the University of Manchester. NOAR is a satellite of the Epidemiology Unit, but is based locally at the University of East Anglia, and works in collaboration with the Department of Rheumatology at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

What Is The Purpose Of The Study?

Starting in 1989, the Norfolk Arthritis Register (NOAR) recruits people in Norfolk, who have developed an inflammatory type of arthritis and who are willing to take part in research. The purpose of the Register is to study the natural history of arthritis and to identify genetic and non-genetic factors which may be related to the onset of arthritis, response to treatment, and to long-term outcome. Previous work involving patients participating in the Norfolk Arthritis Register suggests that people with inflammatory arthritis may have an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease in the long-term. One of the current purposes of NOAR, therefore, is to try and identify which patients with arthritis may be at increased risk of heart disease and whether treatment of the arthritis reduces this risk.

What does it involve?

People are referred to NOAR by Health Professionals responsible for their care, providing the entry criteria for the study have been met. If someone agrees to take part, they are seen annually for some years by a Research Nurse. The Research Nurse interviews participants and undertakes some routine tests and examinations (such as looking at the joints and taking blood) and may arrange for further tests (such as xrays) if the study requires it at that time. Some participants may be asked to continue with the study long-term, and if so, they will be seen less often, but typically at years 7, 10 15 and 20.

As a primary care based project, NOAR remains a unique study within the UK and its findings have become a valuable source of information on many aspects of inflammatory polyarthritis. To date, there have been over 60 publications in medical journals worldwide.

Further information

For more information, please visit the NOAR Website or contact us at:

The Norfolk Arthritis Register (NOAR)
School of Medicine Health Policy & Practice
Faculty of Health
Tel: 01603 597204