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Highly Accessed Editorial

Rheumatologists, take heart! We may be doing something right

Ronald F van Vollenhoven

Author affiliations

Rheumatology Unit, the Karolinska Institute, Department of Rheumatology, The Karolinska University Hospital, Reumatologen D2-1, 17176 Stockholm, Sweden

Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:105  doi:10.1186/ar2364


See related research by Naranjo et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/10/2/R30

Published: 7 March 2008

Abstract

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.