Call to treat all RA patients with statins

Statins should be given to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients to cut their risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), UK research suggests.

Patients with RA have an increased risk of developing premature CVD, which can shorten life expectancy by 18 years. It accounts for almost half of all deaths in patients with RA.

The researchers examined data from nine studies that evaluated the effects of statin therapy in patients with RA and found that it could reduce levels of disease activity, swollen joint count and levels of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein, helping to lower CVD risk.

Lead researcher Dr Komas Paraskevas, from the vascular disease prevention clinic at the Royal Free Hospital in London, concluded that ‘it would seem reasonable to include statin treatment in the management of patients with RA to reduce the increased CVD risk in this patient population'.

Clinical Rheumatology 2008; 27:281-7

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