A new study shows statins may relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis as well as keep cardiovascular disease at bay. Statins, which are cholesterol-lowering drugs, have an anti-inflammatory effect and are well-known for reducing vascular risk.
The inflammatory nature of rheumatoid arthritis puts sufferers at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers randomly gave 116 patients either 40 milligrams a day of atorvastatin or a placebo in addition to therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. After six months, patients who received the statin had a small but significant improvement in arthritis symptoms, such as pain and swollen joints.
However specialists say that certain restrictions should be considered before statins can be generally recommended for rheumatoid arthritis since, statins may have beneficial effects on certain immune conditions, but they have also been shown to cause deterioration of others.
Researchers conclude saying that more research is required to study the effects of different statins in rheumatoid arthritis and in other chronic inflammatory conditions.