Etanercept improves inflammation-associated arterial stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis

Bernat Galarraga, Faisel Khan, Pradeep Kumar, Tom Pullar, Jill J. F. Belch

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    Abstract

    Objectives. Increased arterial stiffness, an independent risk factor for premature coronary artery disease, has been reported in patients with RA. The objectives of this study were first to assess, in patients with RA, the relationship between disease activity, inflammation and augmentation index, which is a combined measure of arterial stiffness and pulse wave reflection. The second objective was to establish any effect anti-rheumatic treatment may have on augmentation index.

    Methods. One hundred and forty-eight RA patients with no previous history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) had their augmentation index corrected for a heart rate of 75 beats per minute (Alx@75), and parameters of RA disease activity and CV risk measured. Forty-seven patients were then treated with either MTX (n=21) or etanercept (ETAN) (n=26), and assessments were repeated at 2 and 4 months.

    Results. Patients with high CRP (>10mg/1) showed significantly higher mean Alx@75 than those with low CRP (<= 10mg/l) (33 +/- 8 VS 30 +/- 8%; P=0.033). On regression analysis, log(10) CRP (beta=0.298; P=0.002), gender(beta=0.257; P=0.007), BMI (beta=-0.292; P=0.004), diastolic blood pressure (beta=0.260; P=0.009) and age (beta=0.194; P=0.046) were independently associated with Alx@75. Treatment with ETAN (35 +/- 9, 32.5 +/- 1 and 32.5 +/- 8%; P=0.025) but not MTX (31 +/- 1, 31 +/- 1 and 31 +/- 1%; P=0.971) attenuated the Alx@75 significantly from baseline to Visits 2 and 3.

    Conclusions. Systemic inflammation (CRP) is an independent predictor of arterial stiffness and pulse wave reflection in patients with RA. ETAN but not MTX therapy reduces arterial stiffness and pulse wave reflection and may thus improve CV morbidity in RA.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1418-1423
    Number of pages6
    JournalRheumatology
    Volume48
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Keywords

    • Atherosclerosis
    • Inflammation
    • Arterial stiffness
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Etanercept
    • C-REACTIVE PROTEIN
    • FACTOR-ALPHA THERAPY
    • PULSE-WAVE VELOCITY
    • ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION
    • CARDIOVASCULAR-DISEASE
    • SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION
    • HYPERTENSIVE PATIENTS
    • AUGMENTATION INDEX
    • BLOOD-DONORS
    • RISK-FACTOR

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