Journal Mobile

GD Kitas, N Sattar
Journal Issue: 
Volume 35: Issue 4: 2005




Rheumatoid  arthritis  is  characterised  by  uncontrolled  chronic inflammation  of  the  joints,  which  leads  to  their  destruction  and  functional disability.  It  is  also  associated  with  increased  and  early  cardiovascular  mortality. This is thought to be linked to chronic systemic inflammation, which can lead to accelerated atherosclerosis, and thus earlier and more severe CHD. The beneficial effects  of  statins  in  the  primary  and  secondary  prevention  of  CHD  are  well-established. These are not only due to their lipid-lowering properties. Statins have several anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects through which they may modify  the  inflammatory  mechanisms  involved  in  the  generation  and  rupture  of atherosclerotic  plaques. These  effects  may  also  be  useful  for  controlling rheumatoid inflammation. Thus statins may be an important adjunctive therapy in RA,  aiming  to  both  reduce  joint  inflammation  and  improve  cardiovascular outcome.   This  needs  to  be  tested  in  randomised  controlled  trials  designed specifically for the purpose.