Background: Rheumatoid arthritis, being a chronic disease requires long-term management of patients with drugs. The increasing cost of biologics in this era of disease management led us to devise a treatment regime, optimal for use in a developing country like India, which was economical as well as effective in controlling disease activity.
Objective: To investigate if combination therapy with DMARDs can reduce cardiovascular risk in early Rheumatoid Arthritis, besides controlling disease activity.
Methods: A small cohort of early Rheumatoid subjects with disease duration less than 1 year were treated with a structured DMARD regime and were followed up over a year. Disease activity score, C-reactive protein (CRP) and cardiac risk markers like lipid panel and carotid intima-medial thickness were monitored at 6 months and 1 year.
Results: A significant reduction (p < 0.001) of disease activity as well as cardiac risk parameters were observed.
Conclusion: Our study showed that treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis with a combination regime of traditional DMARDs is highly effective in controlling disease activity as well as cardiovascular risk.