Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who are treated successfully for their illness may also see a reduction in their cholesterol levels. Newly diagnosed RA patients tend to have adverse lipid profiles, ie, low levels of high-density lipoprotein and high levels of low-density lipoprotein.
Now researchers at Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul report that after a year, 64% of patients who had recently been diagnosed with RA responded positively to the same antirheumatic treatment?and that these same patients had improved lipid profiles, even though no lipid-lowering drugs were given.
?The results of the study suggest that lipid profiles can be improved by treating RA without the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs,? the researchers say. It is not clear why inflammation and lipid levels might be linked in RA patients, but the researchers plan further studies to investigate possible mechanisms.