Background: Psoriasis treatment is frequently complicated by the various types and severities of disease as well as the large number of therapies available. Another critical consideration in treatment planning is the presence of comorbid diseases.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relative prevalence of major comorbid disease states in patients with psoriasis and to identify significant predictors of these concurrent diseases in such patients.
Methods: A retrospective chart review of 753 patients from an academic dermatology practice was performed. The patients were identified by ICD-9 code for psoriasis in billing records of patients seen between 1997 and 2000. Data on comorbidities were compiled from review of electronic chart notes from all physician visits in the university practice.
Results: Comorbid diagnoses were listed in 551 out of 753 (73%) charts. As would be expected, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, diabetes and heart disease were the most common comorbidities; renal failure and hepatitis were least likely. Hepatitis was associated with use of systemic therapies (odds ratio = 2.19) and non-white race. When compared with national prevalence estimates, psoriasis patients had increased heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and emphysema; however, these findings must be interpreted with some caution.
Conclusions: Comorbid diseases are common in psoriasis patients and should be taken into account during treatment planning and surveillance; they may pose unique challenges in caring for patients with psoriasis, particularly those requiring systemic therapy.