Tumour necrosis factor antagonist use and associated risk reduction of cardiovascular events among patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Jeffrey D. Greenberg, Joel M. Kremer, Jeffrey R. Curtis, Marc C. Hochberg, George Reed, Peter Tsao, Michael E. Farkouh, Adeel Nasir, Soko Setoguchi, Daniel H. Solomon

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276 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the association of cardiovascular events with tumour necrosis factor (TNF) α antagonist use compared with non-biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) utilisation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods: The study population included 10 156 patients enrolled in the Consortium of Rheumatology Researchers of North America RA registry. Three study cohorts were defined based on three mutually exclusive drug use categories, including TNF antagonists, methotrexate and other non-biological DMARDs. HR were calculated adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors, RA disease characteristics and prednisone use. The primary study outcome was a composite of non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI), transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or stroke and cardiovascular-related death. Results: There were 88 cardiovascular events, including 26 MI, 45 TIA/strokes and 17 cardiovascular-related deaths. After adjusting for age, gender, cardiovascular risk factors and RA disease characteristics, patients using a TNF antagonist experienced a reduced risk of the primary composite cardiovascular endpoint (HR 0.39, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.82) compared with users of non-biological DMARDs. Methotrexate was not associated with a reduced risk (HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.49 to 1.80). Prednisone use was associated with a dose-dependent increased risk (p=0.04). The risk reduction associated with TNF antagonists was also observed for non-fatal cardiovascular events (HR 0.35, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.74). Conclusion: TNF antagonist use was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular events in patients with RA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-582
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the rheumatic diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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