Psoriasis is associated with clinically significant cardiovascular risk: a Danish nationwide cohort study

J Intern Med. 2011 Aug;270(2):147-57. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2010.02310.x. Epub 2010 Nov 29.


Objective: The magnitude of the cardiovascular risk from psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is debated. We therefore investigated the psoriasis-related risk of adverse cardiovascular events and mortality.

Design, setting and subjects: We conducted a cohort study of the entire Danish population aged ≥18 years followed from 1997 to 2006 by individual-level linkage of nationwide registers. Psoriasis was defined by prescription claims and classified as severe if patients received hospital-based treatment. Time-dependent Poisson regression models were applied to assess cardiovascular risk in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Main outcome measures: All-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality and hospitalizations for myocardial infarction (MI), stroke and coronary revascularization were recorded.

Results: A total of 34 371 patients with mild psoriasis and 2621 with severe psoriasis, including 607 with psoriatic arthritis, were identified and compared with 4 003 265 controls. The event rates and rate ratios (RRs) of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular death, MI, coronary revascularization, stroke and a composite of MI, stroke and cardiovascular death were increased in patients with psoriasis. The rate ratio increased with disease severity and decreased with age of onset. The overall RRs for the composite endpoint were 1.20 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14-1.25) and 1.58 (95% CI 1.36-1.82) for mild and severe psoriasis, respectively. The corresponding RRs for cardiovascular death were 1.14 (95% CI 1.06-1.22) and 1.57 (95% CI1.27-1.94). The risk was similar in patients with severe skin affection alone and those with psoriatic arthritis.

Conclusions: Psoriasis is associated with increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality. Young age, severe skin affection and/or psoriatic arthritis carry the most risk. Patients with psoriasis may be candidates for early cardiovascular risk factor modification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cause of Death
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Myocardial Revascularization
  • Psoriasis / complications*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / mortality