Immunotherapy 'can cut cardiovascular risk in rheumatoid arthritis'

11 July 2016

A new study has indicated that immunotherapy treatments can help reduce the risk of heart disease associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

The Volgograd State Medical University study has offered evidence that extra-low dose anticytokine drugs can reduce rheumatoid arthritis disease activity and cut the risk of cardiovascular events at the same time.

A group of 68 patients who had suffered from active rheumatoid arthritis for at least five years were enrolled, with 38 receiving a combination of immunotherapy drugs plus standard disease-modifying therapy, while the remainder received a placebo-based regimen.

It was shown that the incidence of cardiovascular events such as unstable angina, severe hypertensive crisis and deterioration of chronic heart failure was more than double in the group on conventional disease-modifying drugs alone compared to those also taking the combination of anticytokines.

Study leader Professor Aida Babaeva said: "Rheumatoid arthritis promotes the development of cardiovascular disease in a number of ways. Therefore, decreasing disease activity may also reduce cardiovascular risk by slowing down or halting these processes."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 


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