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Hydroxychloroquine May Reduce Hyperlipidemia Risk in Early RA

Reduced risk of hyperlipidemia with hydroxychloroquine versus other DMARDs

FRIDAY, April 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Hydroxychloroquine appears to be associated with lower risk of hyperlipidemia in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published in the April issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Rishi J. Desai, Ph.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues compared the risk of incident hyperlipidemia in early RA after initiation of various disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) using insurance claims data from 2001 to 2012 for 17,145 patients. Four groups were identified based on DMARD initiation: tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) inhibitors ± nonbiologic (nb) DMARDs; methotrexate (MTX) ± nonhydroxychloroquine nbDMARDs; hydroxychloroquine ± non-MTX nbDMARDs; and other nbDMARDs only.

The researchers found that 364 of the patients developed incident hyperlipidemia, with hazard ratios of 1.41 for TNFα inhibitors (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.99 to 2.00), 0.81 for hydroxychloroquine (95 percent CI, 0.63 to 1.04), and 1.33 for other nbDMARDs (95 percent CI, 0.95 to 1.84) compared with MTX in the full cohort. For the propensity score-matched cohort, the corresponding hazard ratios were 1.18 (95 percent CI, 0.80 to 1.73), 0.75 (95 percent CI, 0.58 to 0.98), and 1.41 (95 percent CI, 1.01 to 1.98). In subgroup analysis there were significant reductions from baseline in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels for hydroxychloroquine versus MTX.

“Use of hydroxychloroquine may be associated with a lower risk of hyperlipidemia among early RA patients,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical technology industries.

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