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E. Study Compares Therapies for High Risk Arthritis Patients

Narrator: This is Science Today. A UCLA study found that for high-risk arthritis patients, it's more cost-effective and safer to use a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug combined with what's called a proton pump inhibitor, which is an acid-lowering drug. This differs from the traditional guidelines recommended for this patient group, which was to treat them with Cox-2 inhibitors like Vioxx. Dr. Brennan Spiegel, who led the study, says it was conducted before Vioxx was removed from the market due to an increase in cardiovascular risk.

Spiegel: We actually did this study over a year before the FDA came out with their warning and at that time when we conducted this study, we knew that there were cardiovascular risks and we sought to include that in this sort of analysis.

Narrator: This is the first time a study looked at common, competing therapies and compared them head-to-head using computer analysis.

Spiegel: With this technology, we can use the best evidence that we have and combine all sorts of different information in a scientifically sound way and project what would happen if these two strategies were pitted against each other head-to-head.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.