Effectiveness of Statins on Total Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Disease and All-Cause Mortality in Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Sheng X, Murphy MJ, Macdonald TM, Wei L
J Rheumatol. 2012;39:32-40
It is well established that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Sorting out the reason for this association, however, is difficult, because many factors associated with RA could lead to CVD, including (but not limited to) inflammation, immune complex-mediated damage to blood vessels, medications' effects on vascular health, abnormal cholesterol, and, of course, traditional risk factors for RA such as family history of CVD, tobacco use, lack of exercise, etc.Although we suspect that risk factor modification (such as use of statins to treat abnormal cholesterol) should improve CVD outcomes in RA, surprisingly few data are available about the effectiveness of such approaches. Sheng and colleagues used a population-based cohort study to investigate the effectiveness of statin use on CVD outcomes and all-cause mortality in patients with RA or osteoarthritis, a disease process that the investigators believe is associated with increased CVD events as well.