In early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), treatment with the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine may reduce the risk of hyperlipidemia, when compared with methotrexate (MTX), according to a large retrospective study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.
The study of disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) use also noted a possible increase in hyperlipidemia risk in some initiating treatment with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha inhibitors). The investigation was led by Rishi J. Desai, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the hospital’s Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics.
Although RA patients have a generally higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), several studies have suggested that RA patients may have lower total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol than persons without RA. “Reports of inverse association between inflammatory markers and lipid parameters may explain this phenomenon,” Desai and associates wrote.