Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers 'risk heart problems by changing treatment'

29 March 2012

People who have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis could be running the risk of suffering from severe heart problems if they discontinue statin therapy.

This is the main warning which has been revealed in a new study published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology.

According to the report, patients who have suffered from rheumatoid arthritis are under threat of dying from cardiovascular disease if they stop making use of statin therapy.

In the research, it was deemed that 45 per cent of people with rheumatoid arthritis discontinued their statin therapy at least once in the four years studied.

During this time, 198 deaths were recorded from cardiovascular disease, with 467 patients losing their lives overall.

Lead author Mary De Vera, of the University of British Columbia School of Population & Public Health and Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, noted: "Our study findings emphasise the importance of medication compliance in RA patients who are prescribed statins."

Meanwhile, researchers from Bristol University and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin have suggested that healthy teeth can equate to a healthy heart too.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Vera, Mary et al. 'Impact of Statin Discontinuation on Mortality in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis – A Population-Based Study' Arthritis Care & Research. Wednesday March 28th 2012.

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