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Scand J Rheumatol. 2011 Nov;40(6):411-21. doi: 10.3109/03009742.2011.586649. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Effects of rosuvastatin on subclinical atherosclerosis and arterial stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized controlled pilot trial.

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Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong, PR China.



To ascertain the effect of rosuvastatin on carotid atherosclerosis and arterial stiffness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Fifty RA patients were randomized in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial to receive 10 mg rosuvastatin (n = 24) or placebo (n = 26). Patients were followed prospectively every 3 months for 12 months. Intima-media thickness (IMT), augmentation index (AIx), and subendocardial viability ratio (SEVR) were measured at baseline, 6 and 12 months.


Rosuvastatin resulted in statistically significant reductions of total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), apolipoprotein B (Apo B), and urate levels vs. placebo. However, rosuvastatin had no significant effect on changes in inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein (CRP) levels [from 2.9 (1.4-11.0) to 3.1 (0.9-13.3) mg/L in the rosuvastatin group compared with from 5.8 (2.6-14.2) to 4.4 (1.2-12.3) mg/L in the placebo group]. Nonetheless, a significant improvement in the Disease Activity Score (DAS) and a reduction in fibrinogen level was observed at 6 and 12 months compared with baseline in the rosuvastatin group. The treatment group exhibited a significant increase in SEVR (from 157 ± 28% to 163 ± 33% in the rosuvastatin group compared with from 143 ± 18% to 143 ± 26% in the placebo group, p = 0.023), but no significant effect was observed in the changes in IMT and AIx.


Our data suggest that rosuvastatin has a modest anti-inflammatory effect in RA patients with low disease activity in terms of reduction in DAS and fibrinogen level. Rosuvastastin may also improve subendocardial perfusion and lower the urate level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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