Carol Ann Hitchon

Associate Professor Department of Medicine University of Manitoba
Associate Staff Health Science Centre and St Boniface Hospitals Winnipeg

Education / Training:
1988 – Bachelor of Science (Hon), University of Calgary (Cellular Molecular and Microbial Biology)
1992 - Doctor of Medicine (Hon in Research), University of Alberta
1997 - FRCPC, Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
1999 - FRCPC, Rheumatology, Royal College of Physicians and
Surgeons of Canada
2004 - MSc, Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba


Personal statement / Research interests
My research activities focus on understanding the pathogenesis and prognosis of inflammatory arthritis and connective tissue disease and improving outcomes for persons with these conditions. I manage the Manitoba Early Arthritis Cohort and have formalized data collection to include detailed clinical information, patient reported outcomes relevant to arthritis and chronic disease, and biological samples. This is a prospective cohort of patients with recent onset inflammatory arthritis. Enrollment began in 2000 (n=360 patient). Multiple studies in this cohort have evaluated the ability of clinical features and biomarkers to predict disease remission and treatment response. I am interested in ethnic differences in rheumatic disease, in particular inflammatory arthritis.Studies have focused on Canadian First Nations and Mexican Mestizos; both populations have severe inflammatory arthritis. Work has described the clinical presentation, early outcomes, HLA haplotypes and arthritis serology. These studies suggest differences in susceptibility and protective alleles combined with serology contribute to differences in disease severity found across ethnic groups and suggest pathogenic mechanisms. Current studies are investigating the roles of environmental factors such as infection and oral health and genetics in inflammatory arthritis, the prevalence and impact of comorbidity in inflammatory arthritis and lupus, and patient reported outcomes. Additional work using Manitoba provincial administrative health data is studying the epidemiology of Rheumatoid Arthritis and lupus in Manitoba including health care utilization, comparing outcomes in First Nations and non-First Nations in order to optimize rheumatology care delivery. I collaborate and have administrative roles in National multicenter research initiatives including the Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort (CATCH), and the Canadian Network for Improving Outcomes in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (CanIOS). 


Young Investigator Award (Canadian Rheumatology Association 2007)