Although it is not currently possible to cure rheumatoid arthritis, medication can reduce attacks and symptoms. A new treatment option may be considered to relieve women: sex hormones.
Researchers at the University of South Australia have shown that patients with rheumatoid arthritis who take oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy are more likely to achieve remission.
Rheumatoid arthritis: Hormonal treatments reduce symptoms
In their study published in Rheumatologyscientists have shed light on a link between rheumatoid arthritis remission and use of sex hormones after reviewing data from 4,474 patients with this chronic inflammatory joint disease. They were treated with the anti-inflammatory drug Tocilizumab and other immunosuppressants.
Analyzes showed that participants who still had regular menstrual cycles had fewer symptoms than those in peri-menopause (irregular or irregular periods) or post-menopause. The influence of female sex hormones on the evolution of the disease became even clearer by observing the volunteers undergoing hormonal treatment.
Remission rates were higher in women who used HRT or birth control pills in addition to their rheumatoid arthritis medication. In addition, remission was twice as high in perimenopausal women.
THS: “the decision to use it requires a thorough discussion”
If it is still premature to say that HRT and oral contraceptives have a protective effect against rheumatoid arthritis, the study has shown a possible link, confirms Professor Michael Wiese, responsible for his work.
In addition, he reminds that hormonal treatments cannot be taken without medical advice.
“The decision to use HRT is complex”specifies Professor Wiese in a press release. “It improves menopausal symptoms, but it may alter the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular disease. This study suggests it may also be beneficial for women with rheumatoid arthritis, but the decision to use it should be carefully should be discussed with a GP as every woman has a different risk.” factors.”