Statins or sunshine?

Rheumatoid arthritis

Statins are not just used to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of a heart attack. They have also been trialled in other conditions.

One such is Rheumatoid arthritis. One such trial found that "Clinical benefits of statins have also been noted in a placebo-controlled trial of atorvastatin for rheumatoid arthritis."[1]

The reason in similar to the transplant case. Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease, where the body's immune system attacks its host. By compromising the immune system, atorvastatin reduces the immune system's ability to do harm in this way.

But it adds even more evidence that statins do harm our ability to fight disease and cancers.


1. McCarey DW, McInnes IB, Madhok R, et al. Trial of atorvastatin in rheumatoid arthritis (TARA): double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet 2004; 363: 2015-21.

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Last updated: December 9, 2011