Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis and risk reduction for coronary artery events by TNF-alpha inhibitor use

There has been a study recently, which shows a risk reduction for incident coronary events in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients by TNF-alpha inhibitor (TNFi) use. RA is associated with a higher risk for coronary artery disease as inflammation accelerates atherosclerosis. A. Bili and colleagues published a study on a retrospective cohort of 2101 incident RA patients: “TNF-α inhibitor use and decreased risk for incident coronary events in rheumatoid arthritis patients.” Conclusion: “Use of TNF-α inhibitors is associated with a decreased risk for CAD in RA; the risk decreases further with longterm use.” If we look at the results, TNFi reduced the hazard to 0.45 (95% CI 0.21-0.96) and MTX to 0.54 (0.27-1.09); TNFi showed a significant reduction, while MTX only showed a trend. All in all it shows that reduction of inflammation is a long term goal. The authors finished with: “This should be considered when weighing the risks versus benefits of these medications.”

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