A biologic arthritis drug has been shown by new research to lessen the risk of heart attacks in arthritis patients by up to 40 per cent. Patients with the rheumatoid arthritis have a 60 per cent higher risk of the heart attacks than the public, thought to be related to the inflammation caused by the disease on affected joints. Reducing inflammation is a key goal of medical interventions, and several types of the treatments are used.
Biologic drug, such as cancer necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi), work by lessening or eliminating evident proteins that cause inflammation.Over three to five years of clinical and records follow-up, the researchers noted that risk of heart attacks was reduced by almost 40 per cent in patients who received TNFi compared to those who had received sDMARD only
Kimme Hyrich, a Professor in The University of Manchester’s Division of Musculoskeletal & Dermatological Sciences, led the BSRBR-RA’s research team said: “Rheumatoid arthritis patients already have to endure a debilitating condition, but to have an elevated risk of heart attacks because of their disease is a very worrying complication. In addition to managing risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, achieving excellent control of inflammation can also reduce this risk.
study has been able to show that this elevated risk can be reduced significantly by using biological arthritis drug therapies such as TNFi. Another member of the research team, the majority of whose research is funded by the British Heart Foundation is University of Leeds Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Health Sciences and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Chris Gale. He said: “This study, which linked the national registry of patients with rheumatoid arthritis with the national health attack registry, shows a striking relationship between the use of biological treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and reduced risk of heart attack.Another research outcome related to the severity of heart attacks that did occur in the total study cohort. There was no difference in the severity of heart attacks among those who did suffer a myocardial infarction while on either drug therapy. So while TNFi treatments did reduce the risk of experiencing a heart attack, it showed no impact on the severity – and overall survivability – of heart attacks among RA patients.