Background Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a definition encompassing the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, obesity, diabetes mellitus and lipid profile disorders). Recent studies show that MetS frequency is higher in RA patients than in controls. Besides, among RA patients, MetS is associated with disease activity.
Objectives To determine the frequency of Mets in RA patients and to compare the evolution of MetS parameters during the DMARD therapy versus during the combination of DMARDs and biologics.
Methods 277 RA patients were investigated for the metabolic syndrome (MetS) defined according to the National Cholesterol Education Program. The first study group (40 patients) underwent DMARD therapy, while the second study group (48 patients) followed a combination of DMARDs and biologic therapy (TNF inhibitors or anti-CD20). The patients were assessed both for RA (CRP, DAS28-ESR) and MetS (triglycerides, HDL cholesterol and blood pressure) initially, after 1 year and after 2 years.
Conclusions The study showed that RA patients with MetS who followed a combination of DMARDs and biologic therapy presented a significant improvement of triglycerides and HDL-cholesterol in comparison to the RA patients who followed DMARD therapy both at 1-year and 2-years assessments. There were no differences of the blood pressure in the two groups. We found no statistically significant correlation among lipid levels, blood pressure and disease activity in either group. Further studies with a greater number of patients are required in order to establish a possible correlation.
References da Cunha VR, Brenol CV, Brenol JC. Metabolic syndrome prevalence is increased in rheumatoid arthritis patients and is associated with disease activity. Scand J Rheumatol 2012;41(3):186-91
Disclosure of Interest None Declared