The Trial of Atorvastatin for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, or TRACE RA, recently published their findings in an issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology which is the official medical journal for the American College of Rheumatology. Conducted by the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust at multiple centers, they intended to study the effect of statins on those with Rheumatoid Arthritis. According to ScienceDaily, they picked 3,002 patients total who were diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis that were either over the age of 50 and/or had Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 10 years. Randomized and double-blinded, the patients were either given 40 milligrams of atorvastatin daily or a placebo.
In 2.5 years, the researchers did a follow-up on the patients. What they found was “1.6 percent of patients who received atorvastatin and 2.4 percent of patients receiving placebo experienced cardiovascular death, heart attack, stroke, transient ischemic attack, or any arterial revascularization” as stated by ScienceDaily. So some adjustments were made to the trial, and at the end of it the patients who took the atorvastatin showed less LDL cholesterol and C-reactive protein (which are both strong indicators of inflammation). There was also a “40 percent lower risk of cardiovascular events for patients taking atorvastatin,” which ScienceDaily claims isn’t very significant because the overall rate of such an event is low in general. Nevertheless, the authors of this study recommended that those with Rheumatoid Arthritis should be given atorvastatin prescriptions based on national/local guidelines for reducing cardiovascular risk.
About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Defined as an inflammatory condition that affects the joints, it causes deformity and eventual immobility. Particularly, in the wrists ankles feet and fingers. There is also “An approximately 50 percent higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke” for those who have this condition ScienceDaily says compared to the general population.
Commonly known as Lipitor, it’s a type of statin drug which are typically used to “Help prevent cardiovascular events in certain high-risk individuals” according to ScienceDaily. How statin drugs do this is by lowering levels of fat from the blood caused by things like LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Until the TRACE RA study, it wasn’t clear whether this drug would be safe for those with conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis which is more inflammatory in nature than cardiovascular.
About the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
Based in England, they provide services from three hospital locations in the Black Country area within the West Midlands region. Namely, the Russells Hall Hospital and Guest Outpatient Centre, which are in Dudley, along with the Corbett Outpatient Centre that’s in Stourbridge. Apart from general hospital and serving adult communities, they also provide secondary care and specialist services not only to patients’ homes but also in over 40 centers within the Dudley Metropolitan Borough. Their hospitals are also considered to be among the most technologically advanced in the entire country, with equipment that’s state-of-the-art and modern buildings. For more information, visit http://www.dgft.nhs.uk/about-us/.