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Rheumatoid arthritis medicine found helpful in reducing risk of heart disease

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eMediNexus    11 December 2022

A recent study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases found that treatments often given to patients to lower joint inflammation may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), who are at an increased risk for the condition. 

 

Patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis are typically treated with methotrexate as their first line of defense, although most RA patients eventually transition to tumour necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) or triple therapy (methotrexate plus sulfasalazine and hydroxychloroquine).

 

In the current study, 115 persons with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis were given a TNFi, either adalimumab (Humira) or etanercept (Enbrel), despite receiving methotrexate. The other option was triple therapy. Both groups experienced comparable declines in arterial inflammation, a risk factor for heart disease, and RA disease activity after six months.

 

Experts were overwhelmed to observe that these potent anti-inflammatory medications decreased the risk of heart disease in rheumatoid arthritis patients. They emphasized that the typical risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity, still need to be considered by doctors. But since inflammation—a crucial aspect of RA—increases the cardiovascular risk even more; treating arthritis offers a novel way to lower these people′s risk of heart disease.

 

(Source: https://theprint.in/health/study-risk-of-heart-disease-can-be-reduced-by-rheumatoid-arthritis-medicine/1258774/)

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