Rheumatoid arthritis

Full blown RA prevented with early treatment

Tuesday, 27 Jun 2017

Early therapeutic intervention significantly reduces the risk of RA onset in pre-RA patients, a meta analysis presented at the EULAR congress in Madrid shows.

The meta-analysis of studies set out to examine the effectiveness of steroids, csDMARDs and bDMARDS on preventing RA and structural damage in people with undifferentiated arthritis or very early arthritis.

Presenting the findings to congress Professor Bruno Fautrel from the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris said that patients who received early treatment had a 28% reduced risk of going on to develop established RA.

All the treatments were approximately the same in terms of efficacy, but there was a question around TNF inhibitors, Professor Fautrel pointed out.

“The confidence intervals are very wide but you see that they [TNF inhibitors] don’t seem to be as efficient as the other treatments — this needs to be confirmed,” he said.

“We can clearly say to our patients when they are at a very early stage that they don’t yet have a chronic disease and that a DMARD including steroids can prevent the development of the full picture of RA,” ¬†Professor Bruno Fautrel¬†concluded.


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