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Preliminary data suggest an inverse relationship between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels and disease activity score (DAS) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).1 Furthermore, data for an apparent beneficial effect of statins on circulating 25OHD concentrations2 have been speculated to be attributable to statin ‘pleiotropic’ anti-inflammatory effects. Serum 25OHD concentrations also fall in the acute phase following surgery.3 Collectively, such data suggest that systemic inflammation may negatively modulate serum 25OHD concentrations. On this basis, we hypothesised that serum 25OHD levels in patients with RA would rise after short-term administration of a tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) blocking agent, adalimumab.
Our work involved 170 consecutive patients with RA at the rheumatology outpatient clinic of the Jan van Breemen Institute, Amsterdam (latitude 52.3°N). Patients were either treated with adalimumab alone (40 mg every 2 weeks) or with adalimumab and concomitant drug-modifying antirheumatic drugs.4 Other antirheumatic treatment remained unchanged during the study. All …
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