By Harvey McConnell
Methotrexate may produce a substantial gain in survival among rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Methotrexate produces such a benefit "largely by reducing cardiovascular mortality," reports Dr Hyon Choi from Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, and Dr Frederick Wolfe from University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas, United States.
Rates of death from cardiovascular disease, infection, and cancer are higher among people with rheumatoid arthritis.
A number of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs exist, with low-dose methotrexate used as the main choice. Many clinical trials have shown methotrexate, among many drugs, is effective in reducing morbidity, but the effect on mortality in patients with rheumatoid arthritis has remained unknown