Interleukin-6 inhibition and cardiovascular disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease conferring a high risk for cardiovascular events (CVE). Systemic inflammation underlying RA favors the development of CVE. The safety of biological agents acting on the cardiovascular system has been inadequately investigated. On the one hand, they decrease RA activity and, on the other, may increase the risk of CVE. This review analyzes the literature data predominantly published in recent years on the effect of an IL-6 receptor inhibitor on the cardiovascular system. Tocilizumab is shown to be a promising agent to reduce cardiovascular risk. The findings need to be clinically verified. Long-term prospective investigations should be conducted to determine more exactly the impact of IL-6 receptor inhibition on the development of CVE.


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