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J Assoc Physicians India. 2013 Aug;61(8):531-4.

Early, structured disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) therapy reduces cardiovascular risk in rheumatoid arthritis--a single centre study using non-biologic drugs.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Rheumatoid arthritis, being a chronic disease requires long-term management of patients with drugs. The increasing cost of biologics in this era of disease management led us to devise a treatment regime, optimal for use in a developing country like India, which was economical as well as effective in controlling disease activity.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate if combination therapy with DMARDs can reduce cardiovascular risk in early Rheumatoid Arthritis, besides controlling disease activity.

METHODS:

A small cohort of early Rheumatoid subjects with disease duration less than 1 year were treated with a structured DMARD regime and were followed up over a year. Disease activity score, C-reactive protein (CRP) and cardiac risk markers like lipid panel and carotid intima-medial thickness were monitored at 6 months and 1 year.

RESULTS:

A significant reduction (p < 0.001) of disease activity as well as cardiac risk parameters were observed.

CONCLUSION:

Our study showed that treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis with a combination regime of traditional DMARDs is highly effective in controlling disease activity as well as cardiovascular risk.

PMID:
24818335
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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