Hydroxychloroquine may reduce cardiac risks for patients with RA
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may have symptom improvements with hydroxychloroquine treatment, which may also reduce cardiovascular risks associated with the disease, particularly at a high dose, according to researchers at the Meir Medical Center, in Kfar Saba, Israel.
The researchers’ retrospective cohort study comprised 514 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were evaluated at the medical center between 2003 and 2013. Patients who received hydroxychloroquine (n=241) were compared with patients who did not receive the treatment (n=273). Arterial and venous events were analyzed as primary endpoints. Hydroxychloroquine was prescribed for a mean duration of 5 years. The data collected were analyzed for potential confounding factors including disease severity, common cardiovascular risk factors and concomitant medication use.
Of patients treated with hydroxychloroquine, 13.3% experienced a cardiovascular event compared to 38.1% of patients who were not treated with the anti-malarial drug. Patients in the hydroxychloroquine treatment group had an OR of 0.271 for all cardiovascular events, and patients who received 400 mg per day had an OR of 0.405 for stroke and transient ischemic attack and an OR of 0.159 for venous events. Researchers observed there was a protective effect against myocardial infarction in patients who received 200 mg per day with an OR of 0.194 without a significant effect on other cardiovascular outcomes.
“This newly demonstrated effect of HCQ[hydroxychloroquine] should be considered in the overall management of RA,” the researchers wrote. – by Shirley Pulawski
Shapiro M, et al. Paper #1846. Presented at: American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting; Nov. 7-11, 2015; San Francisco.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.