Cardiovascular Risk RA Even With Low Risk

An unexpected and worrisome complication of rheumatoid arthritis… even if things look like they’re under control…

Carotid plaque prevalent in RA even with low CV risk score
Reported in MedPage Today, women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have a low predicted risk of cardiovascular disease based on the SCORE risk factor equation may still have high-risk atherosclerosis that requires intensive management if they are middle age or older and/or have an elevated level of total cholesterol. In a cross-sectional study of women with RA, about one in four with a low predicted risk of cardiovascular (CV) events had atherosclerotic disease that represents very high CV risk. The study, by Spanish researchers, appears in Arthritis Research and Therapy.

Comment: All the more reason to be aggressive and maintain vigilance.

A major worry not a reality… next…

Prolonged NSAIDs don’t damage kidneys in non-CKD patients

Pam Harrison writing in MedPage Today reported that a Swiss study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases showed prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has no negative effect on renal function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) except among patients who have advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) on initiation of treatment

Comment: For years we’ve worried about the effects of NSAIDS on kidney function. It appears that if kidney function is normal, it’s not as big a deal as we once thought.

A cure for psoriasis… maybe

New antibody treatment blocks immune signaling protein crucial to psoriasis

Reported in News Medical, many patients suffering from psoriasis showed significant recovery after just a single dose of an experimental treatment with a human antibody that blocks an immune signaling protein crucial to the disease, researchers report. By the end of the trial, conducted at Rockefeller University and seven other centers, nearly all of the 31 patients to receive treatment saw dramatic, if not complete, improvement in their symptoms.

“The striking result we achieved using a human antibody that targets the signal interleukin-23 suggests we are on the threshold of doing something very different from our current model of treating psoriasis with immunosuppressive drugs throughout an adult lifetime,” says study author James Krueger, director of the Milstein Medical Research Program. “It raises the possibility of working toward long-term remission — in other words, a cure.”

Comment: Terrific news!

A simple activity that could prevent rheumatoid arthritis… next

Exercise may be protective against development of RA in women
Reported in Healio, physical activity may be protective against the development of rheumatoid arthritis in women, according to researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. The researchers studied 30,112 women enrolled in the Swedish Mammography Cohort who responded to a questionnaire in 1997 regarding physical activity. The questions were designed to assess daily energy expenditure during occupational and home activities and during leisure time.

Comment: Exercise is a medicine… good medicine.

Osteoarthritis… is it deadly? Next…
Is painful knee and hand osteoarthritis in women associated with excess mortality?
Reported in Medical News Today, research looking at risk of early mortality of British middle-aged women and osteoarthritis was presented at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases. It shows that any painful knee osteoarthritis is strongly associated with early overall and cardiovascular mortality. Interestingly these findings are independent to most of the known risk factors linked with early mortality. The study was based on the data from the Chingford Study.


Comment: Not just a source of pain and risk for joint replacement anymore. Now, it is a risk factor for heart disease and early death.

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