Published , Modified Abstract on Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Reduce Risk of Heart Disease Original source
Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects about 1% of the adult population worldwide, mainly women. RA causes inflammation and damage to joints, but it can also affect other organs, such as the lungs, kidneys, and heart. In fact, RA patients have a higher risk of heart disease than the general population, due to shared risk factors and systemic inflammation. However, recent studies have shown that some RA drugs can lower this risk significantly.
Understanding the Link between RA and Heart Disease
RA and heart disease share common pathways and risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. Moreover, RA-related inflammation can accelerate atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in the arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. RA patients may also have a higher incidence of silent myocardial infarctions, which are heart attacks without symptoms.
RA Drugs that Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Several classes of RA drugs can reduce inflammation and thereby lower the risk of heart disease in RA patients. These drugs include:
- Methotrexate: a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) that inhibits folic acid metabolism and reduces immune cell proliferation and cytokine production. Methotrexate has been shown to reduce cardiovascular mortality and improve endothelial function in RA patients.
- TNF inhibitors: a biologic DMARD that targets tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a proinflammatory cytokine that plays a key role in RA pathogenesis. TNF inhibitors have been shown to reduce systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and atherosclerosis in RA patients.
- IL-6 inhibitors: a biologic DMARD that targets interleukin-6 (IL-6), another proinflammatory cytokine that plays a key role in RA pathogenesis. IL-6 inhibitors have been shown to reduce systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and cardiovascular events in RA patients.
- JAK inhibitors: a new class of oral DMARD that targets Janus kinases (JAK), intracellular enzymes that mediate cytokine signaling. JAK inhibitors have been shown to reduce systemic inflammation, lipid levels, and cardiovascular events in RA patients.
How RA Drugs Lower Risk of Heart Disease
The mechanisms by which RA drugs lower the risk of heart disease are complex and multifactorial, but some of the key effects are:
- Lowering systemic inflammation: RA drugs can reduce the production and activity of proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNF, IL-6, and IL-1, which contribute to atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction.
- Improving endothelial function: RA drugs can improve the function of the inner lining of blood vessels, called the endothelium, which regulates blood flow, clotting, and inflammation.
- Reducing oxidative stress: RA drugs can reduce the production and effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can damage cells and tissues, including the heart.
- Modifying lipid metabolism: RA drugs can modify the levels and composition of lipids in the blood, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, which are major risk factors for heart disease.
RA is a complex and challenging disease that affects not only joints but also other organs, including the heart. However, recent advances in RA treatment have shown that some drugs can lower the risk of heart disease in RA patients significantly. Methotrexate, TNF inhibitors, IL-6 inhibitors, and JAK inhibitors are some of the classes of RA drugs that have been shown to reduce systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular events in RA patients.
This abstract is presented as an informational news item only and has not been reviewed by a medical professional. This abstract should not be considered medical advice. This abstract might have been generated by an artificial intelligence program. See TOS for details.