Rheumatoid arthritis medication can lower risk of heart disease

10 December, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

vv 2 Lifestyle & Fashion

Drugs often administered to patients to reduce joint inflammation may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in rheumatoid arthritis patients who are predisposed to the illness.

According to a new study, drugs often administered to patients to reduce joint inflammation may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in rheumatoid arthritis patients who are predisposed to the illness.

The research, titled ‘Reducing cardiovascular risk with immunomodulators: a randomised active comparator trial in rheumatoid arthritis patients,’ was published in Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

“The reassuring message is that as your joints improve with RA treatments, your risk of cardiovascular disease decreases,” says Joan Bathon, MD, co-leader of the study and professor of medicine and director of the division of rheumatology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Immunomodulators, or anti-inflammatory medications, have been demonstrated in recent clinical studies to considerably reduce heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events in persons with cardiovascular disease.

However, it remained unclear if these medications have a comparable impact on patients with rheumatoid arthritis, who have a 50% greater risk of heart disease than the general population.

Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune and inflammatory condition that causes painful joint swelling, affects more than 1.3 million individuals in the United States. Inflammation is known to cause atherosclerosis and contribute to heart disease, which may explain why persons with rheumatoid arthritis have higher incidences of heart disease.