Tags: Arthritis | Drug | May | Fight | Heart | Disease

Arthritis Drug May Fight Heart Disease

Tuesday, 25 April 2006 12:00 AM

The arthritis drug etanercept (Enbrel) may stop the inflammatory process linked to diabetes and heart disease, according to exciting new research from Massachusetts General Hospital.

The finding may suggest new ways to slow the development of heart disease in patients with the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of common risk factors such as high cholesterol, abdominal obesity, and high blood sugar.

"This proof of principle sheds light on the physiology of inflammation and its relation to cardiac risk in obese patients. And it's the first study of the medication etanercept, currently prescribed to treat arthritis and psoriasis, used in patients with the metabolic syndrome," said Dr. Steven Grinspoon.

The study included 56 patients aged 37 to 54 who had the metabolic syndrome but did not have diabetes, cardiovascular disease or any other inflammatory disorder. Half of the patients received weekly injections of etanercept and half received a placebo during the four-week study.

Each week, the patients had a physical examination and blood tests for levels of glucose, insulin and various markers including C-reactive protein (CRP), which is linked to inflammation and has been associated with an increase risk of cardiovascular disease.

At the end of the study period, CRP levels in the patients who received etanercept were 34 percent lower than in those who received the placebo. The patients who received etanercept also had lower levels of other inflammatory factors associated with increased cardiovascular risk.

The study received funding from Amgen Inc., which markets Enbrel.

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The arthritis drug etanercept (Enbrel) may stop the inflammatory process linked to diabetes and heart disease, according to exciting new research from Massachusetts General Hospital. The finding may suggest new ways to slow the development of heart disease in patients...
Arthritis,Drug,May,Fight,Heart,Disease
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2006-00-25
Tuesday, 25 April 2006 12:00 AM
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