Rheumatologists, take heart! We may be doing something right
Rheumatology Unit, the Karolinska Institute, Department of Rheumatology, The Karolinska University Hospital, Reumatologen D2-1, 17176 Stockholm, Sweden
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:105 doi:10.1186/ar2364
See related research by Naranjo et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/10/2/R30Published: 7 March 2008
In the present issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy data are presented suggesting that antirheumatic therapies decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The QUEST-RA group, a large international collaboration, analyzed data on 4,363 patients in a cross-sectional manner. Traditional risk factors were all significantly associated with cardiovascular events, and the presence of extraarticular disease significantly increased the risk, confirming a previous publication. The most interesting analysis in this study suggests that effective antirheumatic treatment, with traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), glucocorticoids, or anti-TNF biologics, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in rheumatoid arthritis. Some methodological issues are discussed, however, and confirmatory studies are suggested.