The aim of this study was to determine if the following characteristics were associated with the presence of psoriatic arthritis in a sample of psoriasis patients: race, family history of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, age of onset of psoriasis, smoking, alcohol consumption and the maximum body surface area (BSA) affected by psoriasis. This was a case-control study involving 400 psoriasis patients who attended the Psoriasis and Photo-medicine clinic in the National Skin Center of Singapore over a 1-year period. Cases were psoriasis patients with psoriatic arthritis while controls were psoriasis patients without psoriatic arthritis. The diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis was made by rheumatologists and participants completed a self-administered standardized questionnaire. The maximum BSA involved was determined from the case notes. Psoriatic arthritis was not significantly associated with sex, race, age of onset of psoriasis, a family history of psoriasis, smoking and alcohol consumption but was significantly associated with a family history of psoriatic arthritis (P < 0.001) and the maximum body surface involved (P = 0.05). Using multivariate analysis to control for variables, the presence of psoriatic arthritis was significantly associated with a family history of psoriatic arthritis (odds ratio [OR] = 20.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.49-169.10) and the maximum BSA involved (OR = 2.52; 95% CI = 1.33-4.75). Indian psoriatic patients were more likely to have psoriatic arthritis compared to the other races. A family history of psoriatic arthritis and a greater maximum body surface involved may be associated with having psoriatic arthritis in this study population of psoriasis patients.