Effect of atorvastatin on inflammation and modification of vascular risk factors in rheumatoid arthritis

J Rheumatol. 2011 Feb;38(2):229-35. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.100582. Epub 2010 Nov 1.

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the effect of atorvastatin therapy on inflammation, disease activity, endothelial dysfunction, and arterial stiffness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: This study included 30 patients with early RA, randomly divided into 2 groups. Group 1 (n = 15) received methotrexate (MTX; 0.2 mg/kg/week; mean (15.5 ± SD 1.3) plus prednisone (10 mg/day). Group 2 (n = 15) received MTX and prednisone with the same previous doses plus atorvastatin therapy (40 mg/day). Ten healthy individuals of similar age and sex served as controls. Disease activity, lipid profile, serum malondialdehyde (MDA), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), resistin, adiponectin, and brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) were measured before and after 6 months of treatment.

Results: Atorvastatin combined with MTX therapy significantly reduced serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides, and increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p < 0.001). Disease activity variables, serum MDA, TNF-α, resistin, adiponectin, and FMD were significantly improved by the drug combinations (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Atorvastatin therapy in patients with RA reduced disease activity and conventional and novel vascular risk factors that promote the atheromatous lesion. Therapy was also associated with concomitant improvement in endothelial function.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Atorvastatin
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Forearm / physiology
  • Heptanoic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use*
  • Regional Blood Flow / drug effects
  • Resistin / blood
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood

Substances

  • Adiponectin
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Lipids
  • Pyrroles
  • Resistin
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Atorvastatin
  • Prednisone
  • Methotrexate