Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory joint disorder with unknown etiology. Atorvastatin is a lipid-lowering agent that affects the inflammatory processes. 

Objective: This study aimed to determine the anti-inflammatory effects of atorvastatin on the Disease Activity Index and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) concentrations in RA patients.

Methods: This clinical trial was performed on 38 RA patients, who were referred to the Imam Reza and Ghaem Medical Centers of Mashhad, Iran between 2013 and 2014. Patients were divided into two groups: 1) the intervention group, which received 40 mg of atorvastatin, and 2) the control group. Response to treatment and the clinical status of patients were evaluated using the Disease Activity Score (DAS-28) and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) at weeks zero, four, eight, and twelve, based on the 2010 ACR/EULAR Criteria by two rheumatologists. Disease activity and laboratory parameters, including erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), DAS-ESR, DAS- hs-CRP, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and liver function test (LFT) were measured in both groups. 

Results: There was a significant difference in the mean number of swollen joints (p<0.011), ESR (p <0.005), DAS-ESR (P<0.043), LDL (0.036), and HDL (0.016) between the two groups. The changes in trend showed no significant difference in the mean number of tender joints (p =0.38), VAS (p =0.715), CRP (p =0.07), DAS-hs-CRP (p=0.431), total cholesterol (p=0.285), or TG (p =0.331) between the two groups. However, the Disease Activity Index decreased by 48.4% in the intervention group, compared to 35.5% in the control group.

Conclusion: As the results indicated, atorvastatin has a positive effect on the course of RA. In fact, atorvastatin, as an anti-inflammatory agent, could significantly influence inflammation in RA patients. Therefore, adding a lipid-lowering agent to standard medications in RA may be warranted and could decrease disease activity.

Clinical trial registration: The trial was registered at the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (Website: http://www.irct.ir, Irct ID: IRCT2015122425648N2).

Funding: The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


Keywords: Atorvastatin; Rheumatoid arthritis; Anti-inflammatory
» HTML Fulltext    » PDF Fulltext    » doi: 10.19082/2700

Current Issue

October-December 2019 (Volume 11, Issue 4)


The 6th World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI) is to be held on June 2-5, 2019 in Hong Kong.

The WCRI is the largest and most significant international conference on research integrity. Since the first conference in Lisbon in 2007, it has given researchers, teachers, funding agencies, government officials, journal editors, senior administrators, and research students opportunities to share experiences and to discuss and promote integrity in research. Read more:


TDR Clinical Research and Development Fellowships

Call for applications

Deadline for submission: 7 March 2019, 16:00 (GMT)

TDR provides fellowships for early- to mid-career researchers and clinical trial staff (e.g. clinicians, pharmacists, medical statisticians, data managers, other health researchers) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to learn how to conduct clinical trials. Read more:

Meta-Analysis Workshops in New York, USA, and London, UK, in April and May 2019

Don't miss this exceptional opportunity to learn how to perform and report a Meta-analysis correctly. Two Meta-analysis workshops are organized in April and May 2019 by Dr. Michael Borenstein in New York, USA (April 08-10, 2019) and London, UK (May 27-29).

About the Instructor

Dr. Michael Borenstein, one of the authors of Introduction to Meta-Analysis, is widely recognized for his ability to make statistical concepts accessible to researchers as well as to statisticians. He has lectured widely on meta-analysis, including at the NIH, CDC, and FDA. Read more: