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Highly Accessed Editorial

The potential role of 'non-rheumatic’ therapies in rheumatic disease

Elena M Massarotti1 and Daniel H Solomon12*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA

2 Division of Pharmacoepidemiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15:124  doi:10.1186/ar4371


See related research by Ormseth et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/15/5/R110

Published: 6 November 2013

Abstract

The relationship between inflammation and insulin resistance is complex and not fully understood. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are at increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease, which is known to be associated with insulin resistance. In the previous issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy, Ormseth and colleagues report the results of an 8-week trial of pioglitazone, an agent commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus, upon the DAS-28 (disease activity score using 28 joint counts). Modest improvements in the DAS-28 CRP (DAS-28 C-reactive protein) were shown, with no effect on DAS-28 ESR (DAS-28 erythrocyte sedimentation rate). Other variables that improved with pioglitazone were the CRP, IL-6, and patient-reported assessment of global health. The authors discuss the contribution of insulin resistance to the inflammation noted in rheumatoid arthritis.