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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Combination of Azathioprine and Aminosalicylate Treatment Prevent Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Women with Ulcerative Colitis by Reducing Inflammation

Lana Claudinez dos Santos, Aline Villela Costa, Lorrayne Gonçalves Lopes, Alda Jusceline Leonel, Edenil Costa Aguilar, Maria de Lourdes Meirelles Noviello, Maria de Lourdes de Abreu Ferrari, Jacqueline I. Alvarez-Leite

Brazil Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:2305-2315

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.893865

Available online: 2015-08-07

Published: 2015-08-07

BACKGROUND: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease with involvement of the immune system. Chronic inflammatory diseases have been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) but few studies have assessed this risk in patients with UC and the influence of drug treatment. Thus, we evaluated the risk of development of CVD in women with UC in clinical remission, considering the drug treatment.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twenty-one women with UC participated in this study: 12 used aminosalicylates (ASA group) and 9 used azathioprine added to aminosalicylates (AZA+ASA group). The healthy control group was matched for age. We evaluated blood pressure, body composition, and biochemical and immunological parameters.
RESULTS: Compared to the respective control group, the UC groups showed expansion of body fat and less lean body mass. Blood pressure, pro-inflammatory cytokines, nitric oxide, C reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and anti-oxidized LDL antibodies were higher in UC groups. Only AZA+ASA group showed increased anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10 and TGF-β). Framingham scores showed higher risk of CVD in UC groups. UC groups were compared and women treated with azathioprine showed reduction of total protein, globulin, ESR, and lymphocytes, with increased IL-6, TNF, IL-10, and TGF-β.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that women with UC in clinical remission have a higher risk for development of atherosclerosis and CVD when compared to the control group, while women treated with azathioprine seem more protected than those treated only with aminosalicylates, due to better regulation of the inflammatory process.

Keywords: Azathioprine - administration & dosage, Aminosalicylic Acid - administration & dosage, Adult, Biomarkers - blood, Cardiovascular Diseases - prevention & control, Case-Control Studies, Colitis, Ulcerative - drug therapy, Cytokines - blood, Drug Therapy, Combination, Immunosuppressive Agents - administration & dosage, Inflammation - prevention & control, Inflammation Mediators - blood, Lipids - blood, Remission Induction, Risk Factors, young adult