Most Read Articles
01 Oct 2013

Heart disease is still New Zealand’s biggest killer, with one Kiwi dying from coronary heart disease every 90 minutes. Pharmacy Today New Zealand looks at how pharmacists can help

Pearl Toh, 11 Oct 2017
Clinical practice is an art guided by good science, and clinical practice guideline (CPG) is meant to guide in integrating the art and science of clinical practice for the long-term benefits of patients, said Dr Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, a consultant cardiovascular physician at An-Nur Specialist Hospital in Bangi, Malaysia, during the 13th Asian-Pacific Congress of Hypertension (APCH) held in Singapore.
Dr. James Salisi, 01 Jul 2014

The recent spike in the number of new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the Philippines means that clinicians and pharmacists alike may need to increase their awareness and competency in prescribing and monitoring HIV treatment. Although taught in medical and pharmacy schools, the scarcity in exposure to clinical cases before highlights the need to for physicians and pharmacist to review HIV pharmacotherapy in order to cater to the increasing HIV patient population.

01 Sep 2017
Complementary medicines can play an important part in maintaining wellness, preventing deficiencies and optimizing health outcomes, says Dr Lesley Braun PhD, Director of the Blackmores Institute. 

Statins exert no effect on systemic lupus risk

02 Aug 2017

Current statin use does not contribute to an increased risk of developing systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in individuals aged 40 years or above, according to a population-based cohort study. There is rather a signal of protection against the risk among long-term statin users.

Using data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, researchers identified 519,847 statin users and similar number of nonusers aged ≥40 years. The mean age was 63.1 years among users and 62.9 among nonusers. Follow-up in the group of statin users was divided into periods of current, recent and past exposure, with patients moving among these three exposure categories over time. Current statin users were also stratified according to duration of exposure: ≤1 year or >1 year. Analysis was performed using time-dependent Cox models.

Compared with nonusers, current statin users were not at high risk of developing SLE (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.75; 95 percent CI, 0.53 to 1.07). Furthermore, current statin use of >1 year was associated with a 38-percent lower risk of developing SLE (aHR, 0.62; 0.42 to 0.93), although this particular association was not observed when more specific definitions for SLE were used.

Statins are used to reduce the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with hyperlipidaemia, hypertension or diabetes. The drugs demonstrate cholesterol-lowering activity, have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, and possibly suppress the expression of ongoing autoimmune responses. A number of previous studies have shown that statins reduce the proinflammatory biomarkers and/or disease activity scores in patients with SLE. [J Rheumatol 2006;33:2361–3; Rheumatology 2007;46:1560–5; Clin Exp Rheumatol 2014;32:162–7]

The mechanisms by which statins may influence the risk of developing rheumatic autoimmune diseases are unknown, but the drugs have been shown to potentially promote regulatory T cell (Treg) differentiation in the periphery while blocking T helper (Th) 17 cell differentiation, which may be protective against SLE. Conversely, statins may also promote a shift in Th1/Th2 balance or lead to unstable peripheral Tregs, thus inducing autoimmunity. [Arthritis Res Ther 2010;12:R53; J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2007;21:17–24; Nat Immunol 2009;10:1000–7]

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Most Read Articles
01 Oct 2013

Heart disease is still New Zealand’s biggest killer, with one Kiwi dying from coronary heart disease every 90 minutes. Pharmacy Today New Zealand looks at how pharmacists can help

Pearl Toh, 11 Oct 2017
Clinical practice is an art guided by good science, and clinical practice guideline (CPG) is meant to guide in integrating the art and science of clinical practice for the long-term benefits of patients, said Dr Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, a consultant cardiovascular physician at An-Nur Specialist Hospital in Bangi, Malaysia, during the 13th Asian-Pacific Congress of Hypertension (APCH) held in Singapore.
Dr. James Salisi, 01 Jul 2014

The recent spike in the number of new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the Philippines means that clinicians and pharmacists alike may need to increase their awareness and competency in prescribing and monitoring HIV treatment. Although taught in medical and pharmacy schools, the scarcity in exposure to clinical cases before highlights the need to for physicians and pharmacist to review HIV pharmacotherapy in order to cater to the increasing HIV patient population.

01 Sep 2017
Complementary medicines can play an important part in maintaining wellness, preventing deficiencies and optimizing health outcomes, says Dr Lesley Braun PhD, Director of the Blackmores Institute.