Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 281–287 | Cite as

Statin treatment for rheumatoid arthritis: a promising novel indication

  • Kosmas I. ParaskevasEmail author
Review Article


The results of several cross-sectional trials suggest that patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have increased vascular risk and cardiovascular mortality. It was demonstrated that inflammation plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of both RA and atherosclerosis. This association may explain the high incidence of cardiovascular disease in RA patients. A number of recent studies show that routine statin use in patients with RA offers considerable advantages. Statin treatment has been supported to exert a beneficial effect on disease activity, swollen joint count, endothelial dysfunction, and arterial stiffness in RA patients. These improvements are coupled with a mild to moderate improvement in plasma markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Statins have a satisfactory safety profile with relatively few adverse effects. In the absence of side effects and contraindications, it may be reasonable to consider statin use in selected cases, particularly in patients with a long history of active RA who are at increased cardiovascular risk.


C-reactive protein Indication Rheumatoid arthritis Statins Treatment 


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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Biochemistry (Vascular Disease Prevention Clinic)Royal Free HospitalLondonUK
  2. 2.Academic Department of SurgeryRoyal Free HospitalLondonUK

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