Author(s): RuyssenWitrand A, Fautrel B, Saraux A, Le Lot X, Pham T, RuyssenWitrand A, Fautrel B, Saraux A, Le Lot X, Pham T
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To assess the association between cardiovascular (CV) risk and low-dose corticosteroids (LD-CT, defined as a daily dose <10mg/day of prednisone) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. METHODS: DATA SOURCE: A systematic review of the literature up to June 2009 was performed. DATA EXTRACTION: (1) cardiovascular risk factors: high blood pressure, glycemia and lipid profile, carotid intima-media thickness, pulse-wave velocity, ventricular function; (2) "hard" outcomes: heart failure (HF), stroke, myocardial infarction (MI) or mortality. DATA ANALYSIS: descriptive, comparing CV risk between LD-CT-treated RA patients and LD-CT-non-treated RA patients. RESULTS: Of the 1138 screened reports, the literature search identified 37 assessing CV risk in LD-CT treated RA. The analysis showed a protective effect on serum lipid profile, an increase of insulin resistance or glycemia, probably no effect on blood pressure, no effect on atherosclerosis, discrepancies regarding arterial stiffness and no effect on ventricular function or heart rate variability. An association of LD-CT with major CV events was found in 4/6 studies. This included MI (HR=1.7 [1.2-2.3]), stroke (OR=4.36 [1.60-11.90] for LDC between 6 and 10mg/day), mortality (HR=2.03 [1.25-3.32]) and a composite index of CV events (in the group of rheumatoid factor positive RA, HR=2.21 [1.22-4.00]). Two studies did not find any significant association between LD-CT exposure and mortality (OR=2.25 [0.29-102.5]) or a composite index of CV events (OR=1.3 [0.8-2.0]). CONCLUSION: Although the literature review showed poor association between LDC exposure and CV risk factors, a trend of increasing major CV events was identified. Copyright Â© 2010 Société française de rhumatologie. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Joint Bone Spine
and referenced in Cardiovascular Therapy: Open Access