Psoriatic Arthritis Patients Face Greater Risk of Heart Issues

Elevated risk found for heart arrhythmia, specifically atrial fibrillation.

Elevated risk found for heart arrhythmia, specifically atrial fibrillation.

In addition to the difficulties of managing their condition, patients with psoriatic arthritis face an increased risk of developing heart arrhythmia.

In an analysis of a population-based cohort, researchers evaluated records from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database for 40,637 psoriasis patients matched with 162,548 age and sex matched controls with similar incidence of coronary heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

Psoriasis patients were more likely to be obese and to have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, hyperlipidemia, sleep apnea, and thyroid dysfunction. The study adjusted for medical history and medication use.

Patients in the psoriasis cohort were found to carry a more than one-third greater likelihood of suffering from arrhythmia (hazard ratio [HR], 1.34; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.29-1.39). However, the psoriasis risk was greater in patients with mild psoriasis (HR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.30-1.41) than patients with severe psoriasis (HR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.12-1.39).

The arrhythmia difference between the control group and patients with both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (HR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.22-1.74) was not much larger than the difference between control group patients and psoriasis patients without psoriatic arthritis (HR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.28-1.39).

Significant limitations in the study included a lack of information regarding alcohol use, cigarette smoking, and patient outcomes on the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index.

“Patients with psoriasis were at higher risk of developing arrhythmia, particularly for those with psoriatic arthritis, independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors,” the study authors wrote in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. “These findings may indicate that psoriasis can be added to future risk stratification scores for arrhythmia. Moreover, these results indicate that patients with psoriasis, especially young patients and those with [psoriatic arthritis], should be more closely screened for various types of arrhythmia.”