Preclinical cardiac organ damage during statin treatment in patients with inflammatory joint diseases: the RORA-AS statin intervention study.

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Statin treatment has been associated with reduction in blood pressure and arterial stiffness in patients with inflammatory joint diseases (IJD). We tested whether statin treatment also was associated with regression of preclinical cardiac organ damage in IJD patients.Echocardiography was performed in 84 IJD patients (52 RA, 20 ankylosing spondylitis, 12 psoriatric arthritis, mean age 61 (9) years, 63% women) without known cardiovascular disease before and after 18 months of rosuvastatin treatment. Preclinical cardiac organ damage was identified by echocardiography as presence of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy, LV concentric geometry, increased LV chamber size and/or dilated left atrium.At baseline, hypertension was present in 63%, and 36% used biologic DMARDs (bDMARDs). Preclinical cardiac organ damage was not influenced by rosuvastatin treatment (44% at baseline vs 50% at follow-up, P = 0.42). In uni- and multivariable logistic regression analyses, risk of preclinical cardiac organ damage at follow-up was increased by higher baseline body mass index [odds ratio (OR) 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1, 1.5, P = 0.01] and presence of preclinical cardiac organ damage at baseline (OR 6.4, 95% CI: 2.2, 18.5, P = 0.001) and reduced by use of bDMARDs at follow-up (OR 0.3, 95% CI: 0.1, 0.9, P = 0.03).Rosuvastatin treatment was not associated with a reduction in preclinical cardiac organ damage in IJD patients after 18 months of treatment. However, use of bDMARDS at follow-up was associated with lower risk of preclinical cardiac organ damage at study end, pointing to a possible protective cardiac effect of bDMARDs in IJD patients.


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