Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments Can Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk, Researcher Says

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments Can Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk, Researcher Says

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) therapies may reduce cardiovascular disease risk in RA patients, according to a research presentation by Dr. Joan Bathon, chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, at the recent Congress of Clinical Rheumatology held in Destin, Florida.

In the presentation, “The effect of RA therapies on the outcome of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and other comorbidities,” Dr. Bathon noted that prospective and cross-sectional studies she conducted have looked at subclinical measures of atherosclerosis and CV events, and the incidence of systematic, vascular, and articular inflammation.

“We looked at epidemiological evidence of association of increased rates of cardiovascular (CV) disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA),” she said in a news release. “We wanted to find the effect of rheumatoid inflammation and RA treatments on modifying risk of CV disease, metabolic pathways, insulin resistance and other comorbidities.”

Dr. Bathon and colleagues found a reoccurring association between inflammation in patients with RA and CV disease, and that hypertension, high body mass index (BMI), insulin resistance, smoking, and dyslipidemia all increase the risk of atherosclerosis in RA patients.

“Systematic and intravascular inflammation likely explain the increase in RA above matched controls in metabolic risk, subclinical atherosclerosis and CV events,” Dr. Bathon said. “Aggressive management of RA may actively reduce CV risk to or below background risk for the greater population.”

According to Dr. Bathon, the research has limitations, as some data were confounded by indication. Furthermore, she noted that there was a lack of information on confounding risk factors for CV, variable exclusion of previous CV events, and RA activity over time, as well as other RA characteristics. She plans on conducting further studies using larger cohorts.

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Myriad Genetics, Inc., has launched a new web portal called myVectra for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). myVectra users can easily access their Vectra DA test results and test histories, to better prepare for visits to the rheumatologist and understand their disease.

Myriad says the Vectra DA blood test provides a more comprehensive assessment of disease activity by measuring 12 markers of RA disease activity in the blood, called biomarkers, that are linked to RA inflammation.

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