TNF Antagonists Do Not Reduce Risk of Acute Coronary Syndrome in Early RA Patients

Treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis patients with tumor necrosis factor antagonists produces no reduction in the risk of acute coronary syndrome, researchers in Sweden have found.

Treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with tumor necrosis factor antagonists (anti-TNF) produces no reduction in the risk of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), researchers in Sweden have found.

The researchers looked at 6,000 patients diagnosed with RA between 1999 and 2007 drawn from the Swedish Rheumatology Register, which provided information on disease activity and treatment with medication. They compared the risk of the first occurrence of an ACS for patients treated with anti-TNF to the risk in patients without exposure to anti-TNF. In addition, they investigated the relationship between response to anti-TNF and the risk of ACS.

Their results found that anti-TNF treatment was not related to a statistically significant reduction in the risk of ACS. In addition, they found that a good or moderate treatment response at three or six months was not associated with a risk of ACS after adjustment for disease activity before treatment was begun.

The study was published online last week by the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.