Statins May Ease RA Symptoms
Statins may prove helpful in treating rheumatoid arthritis(RA) because they help fight inflammation, according to apreliminary Scottish study. The study included 116 participantswho were given either a daily dose of atorvastatin oran inactive placebo. The researchers reported recently in theLancet that patients who took a daily dose of atorvastatinshowed a small but statistically significant improvement inarthritis, compared with patients who took a placebo.
Recognizing that the current study was small scale, leadinvestigator Iain B. McInnes said, "We need bigger morepowerful studies" to find out whether statins have a role intreating RA. "There were 2 things we were trying to achievein the study," he added. "One was to test whether statins,which in most people have an anti-inflammatory effect,could influence a condition in which inflammation is aprime mover. The second was based on the recognition thatpatients with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk ofvascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. We wantedto see if we could modify markers of that risk. On bothcounts, we saw an effect."