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Leicester Real World Evidence Unit

Leicester Real World Evidence Unit, headed up by Professor Kamlesh Khunti, works with clinical, academic and industrial investigators to design and deliver high quality real world evidence studies. We are an academic unit, funded by University of Leicester, and external research grants, including the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East Midlands (CLAHRC-EM). We are located within the grounds of the University of Leicester NHS Trust (Leicester General Hospital) and hosted by University of Leicester.


ERICAS (Evidence from Real-world on cardIometaboliC ObservAtional Studies) is funded through an unrestricted educational grant provided by AstraZeneca. The aim of ERICAS is to provide contemporary good quality real world evidence on cardiometabolic medicine from published biomedical literature.

The Team

Our team includes experts in database epidemiology, prognostic modelling, evidence synthesis and systematic reviews.

The ERICAS team includes:

  • Sophia Abner, Statistician/Epidemiologist and ERICAS Lead
  • Dr Karen Appiah, Statistician/Epidemiologist and ERICAS team member
  • Dr Mary Barker, Statistician/Epidemiologist and ERICAS team member

The ERICAS team work closely with University of Leicester Library Services, particularly Selina Lock, to help with the ERICAS search strategy and the selection of key articles.

Other members of our team include colleagues within the LRWE Unit, Diabetes Research Centre and the LRWE Steering Group. 

ERICAS Process

We retrieve articles using an explicit search strategy developed in collaboration with University of Leicester Library Services.  We then read through the abstracts and exclude any that are not directly related to ERICAS. We search for large real-world observational studies and focus on outcomes related to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mortality and kidney disease (Step 1). The ERICAS team assesses if real world evidence was produced in the retrieved studies. The most relevant articles to cardiometabolic renal for everyday clinicians and researchers are posted onto the website. (Step 2). We classify journal articles into category and disease area (Step 3). The articles are published on our website. You can also subscribe to an alert system to receive information on articles as they published.


"Thank you for starting this initiative. It helps us clinicians to make sense of the ever growing literature in relation to real-world evidence."

ERICAS Search Strategy

  1. Epidemiologic Studies/
  2. exp cohort studies/
  3. case-control studies/
  4. (epidemiolog* adj (study or studies)).ab,ti
  5. (cohort adj (study or studies)).ab,ti
  6. (case-control adj (study or studies)).ab,ti
  7. cohort analy*.ab,ti
  8.  (follow up adj (study or studies)).ab,ti
  9. longitudinal.ab,ti
  10. retrospective*.ab,ti
  11. prospective*.ab,ti
  12. (observ* adj3 (study or studies)).ab,ti
  13. 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 or 12
  14. exp diabetes mellitus/
  15. exp kidney disease/
  16. exp cardiovascular disease/
  17. cardiometab*.ab,ti
  18. metabol*.ab,ti
  19. diab*.ab, ti
  20. kidney dis*.ab, ti
  21. cardiovasc*.ab, ti
  22. 14 or 15 or 16 or 17 or 18 or 19 or 20 or 21
  23. 13 and 22
  24. limit 23 to English language
  25. exp animals /not humans.sh
  26. 24 not 25
  27. limit 26 to review articles
  28. 26 not 27
  29. systematic review.ti
  30. (meta-analysis.ti OR "meta analysis").ti
  31. 29 or 30
  32. 28 not 31
  33. clinical trial/
  34. exp Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/
  35. randomi?ed controlled trial.ti.
  36. RCT.ti
  37. exp Randomized Controlled Trial/
  38. randomized controlled trial.pt
  39. controlled clinical trial.pt
  40. 33 or 34 or 35 or 36 or 37 or 38 or 39
  41. 32 not 40