Objective: To assess the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) without clinically evident atherosclerosis or its complications, and to assess whether demographic or clinical factors affect the development of atherosclerotic disease in a series of patients with PsA attended to in a community hospital.
Methods: Fifty-nine patients with PsA who fulfilled the Moll and Wright criteria were recruited from Hospital Xeral-Calde (Lugo, Spain). Patients seen during the period of recruitment who had classic cardiovascular risk factors or had experienced cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events were excluded. Fifty-nine healthy matched controls were also studied. Carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) and carotid plaques were measured in the right common carotid artery. The study was performed using high-resolution B-mode ultrasound.
Results: Patients with PsA exhibited greater carotid artery IMT than did matched controls (mean +/- SD 0.699 +/- 0.165 mm versus 0.643 +/- 0.111 mm; P = 0.031; difference of means 0.056; 95% confidence interval 0.005-0.108). Adjusted for age, the carotid IMT was correlated with age at the time of PsA diagnosis (partial correlation coefficient [r] = -0.264, P = 0.04), disease duration (r = 0.264, P = 0.04), total cholesterol (r = 0.233, P = 0.01), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (r = 0.243, P = 0.01).
Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that patients with PsA without cardiovascular risk factors or clinically evident cardiovascular disease have a high prevalence of macrovascular disease in the form of increased carotid artery IMT compared with ethnically matched controls.