Objectives: Analyse the effects of anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy on serum levels of lipid in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: Twenty-nine patients (26 females, 3 males) with established RA undergoing anti-TNF therapy (n=12, adalimumab; n=11, infliximab; n=6, etanercept) were recruited. Total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides (TG), and apolipoproteins (apo b and apo a) were assessed at baseline and after 14 weeks of treatment.
Results: The disease activity index score (DAS(28)) was 5.19+/-0.90 and decreased to 3.46+/-0.97 at 16 weeks (p<0.001). There was no change neither in the levels of TC (5.65+/-0.98mmol/l vs 5.78+/-1.06mmol/l; p=0.43), TG (1.40+/-0.79mmol/l vs 1.45+/-0.67mmol/l; p=0.59), HDL-C (1.92+/-0.49mmol/l vs 1.97+/-0.49mmol/l; p=0.36), apo a1 (1.92+/-0.28g/l vs 1.99+/-0.29g/l; p=0.06), and LDL-C (3.41+/-0.91mmol/l vs 3.47+/-0.96mmol/l; p=0.66), nor in apo b (1.126+/-0.302g/l vs 1.13+/-0.28g/l; p=0.89), atherogenic index (3.13+/-1.05 vs 3.09+/-0.89; p=0.69) or the apo b/apo a1 ratio (0.58+/-0.25 vs 0.56+/-0.22; p=0.33).
Conclusion: The favourable effect of anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy on cardiovascular morbidity is not related to effects on lipid metabolism.