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Steroids Score in Slowing Early Rheumatoid Arthritis

Steroids Score in Slowing Early Rheumatoid Arthritis

LIVERPOOL, England, Jan. 26 -- Low-dose glucocorticoid agents given along with standard disease-modifying drugs (DMARDs) reduced the progression of early rheumatoid arthritis for up to two years, Cochrane reviewers reported.

All the studies reviewed, except one, showed a numerical benefit in favor of the steroids, which were generally used along with DMARDs, according to a report in the January issue of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

From an average of all the studies, the reduction of erosion progression was 60% or more when the glucocorticoids were used along with DMARDs, said John Kirwan, M.D., of Liverpool Women's Hospital here, and colleagues.

These findings were derived from a Medline search (1966 to 2005) and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, which produced 15 studies including 1,414 patients, older than 18.

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