Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have a significantly higher risk to develop heart attacks
and other complications of their blood vessels. New therapies are needed to prevent this
complication. The purpose of this study is to establish the role of the medication
pioglitazone in improving the function of the blood vessels and heart and decreasing the
risk of future atherosclerosis development in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. As a
secondary aim-point, we will evaluate the efficacy of pioglitazone in improving rheumatoid
arthritis disease activity and markers of inflammation.
This study will establish the role of pioglitazone in improvement of endothelial function,
arterial compliance and disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. This will be
a placebo-controlled, double blind, cross-over trial.
- Women on adequate contraception if they are of child-bearing age.
- Meet revised ACR criteria for RA.
- Stable doses of DMARDS,biologic agents and or corticosteroids for at least 3 months.
- Pregnant or lactating women.
- Current smokers or individuals who smoked in the last 6 months.
- Diagnosis of Diabetes, heart failure, or infection.
- Current diagnosis of malignant disease except for basal cell or squamous cell
carcinoma of the skin.
- No active liver disease.
- No cholesterol-lowering medications or oral hypoglycemic agents.