Patients with psoriasis appear to have a higher risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm, and the risk rises with more severe psoriasis, researchers reported in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.
“Psoriasis must be considered as a systemic inflammatory disease rather than an isolated skin disease,” Usman Khalid, MD, PhD, fellow in the department of cardiology at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital in Denmark, said in a press release. “Increased awareness on heightened risk of other [CVDs], including abdominal aortic aneurysms, in patients with psoriasis is also required.”
Khalid and colleagues conducted a nationwide study in Denmark of all residents aged 18 years and older. Of 5,495,203 eligible residents, 59,423 had mild psoriasis and 11,566 had severe psoriasis. Patients with psoriasis were followed from Jan. 1, 1997, until diagnosis of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), until Dec. 31, 2011, migration or death.
The overall incidence of AAA was:
- 3.72 per 10,000 person-years for the general population;
- 7.3 per 10,000 person-years for patients with mild psoriasis; and
- 9.87 per 10,000 person-years for patients with severe psoriasis.
The researchers calculated an adjusted incidence rate ratio for AAA of 1.2 (95% CI, 1.03-1.39) for patients with mild psoriasis and 1.67 (95% CI, 1.21-2.32) for patients with severe psoriasis.
Khalid and colleagues called for further research on whether patients with psoriasis should be screened for AAA and whether anti-inflammatory treatments for psoriasis may reduce the risk for AAA in this population.
Until more research is available, “clinicians need to educate and assist their patients with psoriasis in lifestyle and risk factor modification to facilitate [CVD] risk reduction,” Khalid said. – by Tracey Romero
Khalid reports no relevant financial disclosures.