The Arthritis Research Institute of America Post

Emmeline A. Sangeorzan

Emmeline A. Sangeorzan

Who knew a self administered survey with just over 130 questions, a physical exam and a few x-rays could be such a gold mine?! As ARIA’s biostatistician, I have the privilege of working with top epidemiologists to unravel some of the mysteries of osteoarthritis. There is still is so much to be learned about its etiology, diagnosis, and prognosis. Osteoarthritis can be defined in several ways: clinically, radiographically, and/or symptomatically. Interestingly, the experts cannot arrive at a conclusion of which definition to use; there are so many factors to consider. The old paradigm that osteoarthritis is the “wear and tear” form of arthritis is making room for one that considers it a systemic disease, much like cardiovascular or coronary disease, even diabetes.

One of ARIA’s goals, as I see it, is to add to what is known about osteoarthritis and untangle the many pathways to this disease. Present and future epidemiological, clinical and genetic research may eventually provide a consensual definition for osteoarthritis. One of the challenges researchers face when sorting through previous research is trying to draw conclusions about a topic when there are multiple definitions for an outcome. Multiple definitions make comparing results difficult and obstruct definitive conclusions. Any information ARIA can add to osteoarthritis research brings the research community one step closer to correctly defining this disease. Personally, I am awed that my statistical skill provides information on the distal and proximal risk factors of osteoarthritis. Needless to say, I take
my job of analyzing this data very seriously as it could reveal modifiable and unmodifiable risk factors
that may one day eliminate or greatly reduce my own disability from arthritis.

When not investigating associations of factors with osteoarthritis, I enjoy exploring Florida’s waterways and beaches. These excursions are a family affair. I am accompanied by my husband and three small children (aged 3.5yrs, 1.88yrs, and 0.33yrs). Born and raised in the City of Chicago, I am a Romanian American and first generation college graduate. I vaguely remember the ’85 Bears and the citywide celebration… wasn’t much of a football fan at the time. I am grateful to be living in Tampa Bay… I am a warm weather lady! Two interesting coincidences: my neighbor’s house was transported down the road from ARIA’s previous directors’ grandfather’s property and Dr. Barrett, founder, has traveled to
Romania numerously. My feeling is that I am meant to be a part of ARIA.


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