Search form



CL Mobile Menu

TNF-α inhibitors may help reduce cardiovascular risk in RA

TNF-α inhibitors may help reduce cardiovascular risk in RA


Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) inhibitor treatment for patients who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) probably will reduce, not increase, the risk of heart failure if it effectively reduces inflammatory activity. TNF-α inhibition also might not increase the risk of worsening of prevalent heart failure.

Listing and associates studied 2757 patients and 1491 controls who started treatment with a TNF-α inhibitor or a conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, respectively. Assessments included a functional status questionnaire and the 28-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS28).

The 3-year incidence of heart failure was 2.2% in patients who had cardiovascular disease at the start of treatment compared with 0.4% in patients who did not. In de novo cases of heart failure, an increase of 1 unit or 2 units in the DAS28 score resulted in a 1.4-fold or 1.8-fold increase in risk, respectively. After adjustment for traditional risk factors, no significant results were found for the hazard ratios (HRs) of treatment with TNF-α inhibitors; an HR of 0.70 was calculated for the combined positive and negative effects of TNF-α inhibitors.

The authors noted that screening of patients who have severe RA for cardiac risk factors and effective management of both the RA and the cardiac disease are essential.

By clicking Accept, you agree to become a member of the UBM Medica Community.