Cynthia (Cindy) S. Crowson, Ph.D., is a lead statistician in the Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics with a joint appointment in the Division of Rheumatology at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Crowson's research is focused on the epidemiology of rheumatic diseases with a special interest in rheumatoid arthritis. As a statistician collaborating with rheumatologists for more than 25 years, her interests reflect both medical and statistical areas.
- Statistical research methods. Dr. Crowson's statistical interests focus on methods used in population-based research, such as estimating lifetime risk, accelerated aging and attributable risk in longitudinal cohort studies. She has a special interest in survival analysis methods, including competing risks, multistate models, and development and assessment of risk prediction models.
- Rheumatic diseases. Through collaboration with national and international researchers, Dr. Crowson seeks to improve the health outcomes of people with rheumatic diseases. She also leads and contributes to research involving the epidemiology and outcomes of people with polymyalgia rheumatica, giant cell arteritis, lupus, psoriatic arthritis, myositis, Sjogren's syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis and other rheumatic diseases.
- Comorbidity. Dr. Crowson and her colleagues are studying patterns of comorbid conditions in patients with rheumatic disease. Dr. Crowson is working to understand longitudinal trajectories of comorbidity, which will provide useful insights into the pathogenesis of multimorbidity. This research aims to improve the quality of care — such as preventive screening and treatments — and to aid in developing guidelines for clinical management of people with rheumatoid arthritis and multimorbidity. Dr. Crowson's research findings will also stimulate the development of preventive strategies to delay the onset of multimorbidity (such as the prevention of serious infections), which would slow the progression of multimorbidity and age-related declines in physical functioning, and ultimately extend the life span of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Crowson leads a multidisciplinary research team that aims to improve the health and long-term outcomes of people with rheumatic diseases. While recent advances in available treatments, including biological response modifiers, have improved outcomes in some rheumatic diseases, the disease burden is still high for these patients.
Dr. Crowson's hope is that through her research, better tools will be developed to help predict who is at risk of comorbid conditions. She aims to help physicians target preventive strategies to the right patients in order to prevent or delay development of comorbidities and thereby improve quality of life and long-term outcomes.
- Associate Editor, Journal of Rheumatology, 2019
- Distinguished Educator, Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals, 2016