CV risk important in rheumatoid arthritis

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis face an increased risk of cardiovascular events due to disease-related inflammation, as well as from traditional factors.

The finding has been suggested by a five-year prospective study of 440 Swedish patients. 

However, the study also showed treatment with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) reduced the risk.

Disease progression in the patients (with a mean age of 55 years) was measured by using chemical markers of inflammation and physical appearance of symptoms.

Some 97% of the participants had been treated with DMARDS by the close of the study, and lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking and reducing BMI had been made by many as well.

The progression of a new cardiovascular event in early RA was predicted by traditional cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension at inclusion, as well as the level of triglycerides, the authors said. However,