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He then calculated risk reduction with the anti TNF drugs.
RA patients, German researchers found those on the anti TNF drugs had about half the risk of death as those on DMARDs during the follow up period of about 3.5 years.
Not all of the research was positive, though. In a fourth study, researchers reported an increased risk of getting shingles while on the anti TNF drugs. The often painful condition is caused by the herpes zoster virus in adults.
Nearly the same benefit was found for those on rituximab (Rituxan), another type of biologic treatment that suppresses the immune system inflammatory response and is often used with anti TNFs when anti TNFs don't work well enough
RA, Biologics Life Expectancy StudyIn another study of nearly 9,000 Ghd Eclipse Review
At the same meeting, other researchers also reported those on biologic treatments (such as anti TNFs) have a reduced risk of death compared with those treated with traditional RA drugs.
RA RA DrugsAbout 1.3 million Americans have RA, in which inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissue can cause pain and stiffness.
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A third study found that early control and resolution of disease activity, when achieved with RA medicines, is linked with better overall survival in those with RA affecting more than four joints.
"The take home message is that disease activity should be reduced a much as possible, first by DMARDS. If that is not enough, biologics should be considered from a cardiovascular point of view."
Anti TNFs Heart Attacks StudyIn his study, Nurmohamed evaluated nearly 110,000 patients with RA on various types of RA drugs.
Researchers evaluated more than 2,700 RA patients and followed them up for about nine years. Those who were in remission a year after the first assessment had the biggest reduction in death risk, about 25% or more.
Other researchers found earlier control and resolution of disease activity reduced the risk of death.
DMARDs cost about $45 to $120 a month. Anti TNF drugs, given intravenously or injected, cost about $1,700 a month or more, according to the American College of Rheumatology.
The study was sponsored by Abbott and other drug companies.
June 8, 2012 Rheumatoid arthritis patients who take medications known as anti TNFs may be treating more than their disease. According to new research presented at a European meeting, these patients may be less likely to have a heart attack and are more likely to live longer than those with RA who are not taking the drugs.
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In one study, the longer the patients take the anti TNF drugs, the more protected they are from Sales Beats By Dre Studio
"We know now that inflammation is important for atherosclerosis," Ghd Or Cloud 9 so suppressing it is good not only for the RA but for heart attack risk reduction, he says.
He presented the findings this week at EULAR 2012, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism. The study was funded by Abbott, which makes the anti TNF drug Humira.
Newer Drugs Help RA Patients Live Longer
Drugs known as disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), such asAnti TNF drugs belong to a class known as biologics, which are designed to inhibit parts of the immune system that cause inflammation.
The reduced risk for heart attacks, he says, is tied to suppressing inflammation.
Nurmohamed reports speaker's fees and consultant work for Abbott and other pharmaceutical companies.
"The unique feature of this study is, we have tied the time on the drugs with the reduction of heart attacks and other problems," says researcher Michael Nurmohamed, MD, PhD, of the VU University Medical Centre and Jan van Breemen Research Institute in Reade, Netherlands.
"After one year on anti TNFs, we saw a 24% reduction, after two years, 42%, and after three years, 56%, compared to those not on the drugs," he tells WebMD.
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