Psoriasis carries an increased risk of venous thromboembolism: a Danish nationwide cohort study

PLoS One. 2011 Mar 25;6(3):e18125. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018125.


Background: Psoriasis is an immunoinflammatory disease associated with cardiovascular risk factors, atherothrombotic events, and hypercoagulability. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is potentially lethal and shares risk factors with psoriasis, but the risk of VTE associated with psoriasis is unknown. The present study investigated the potential association between psoriasis and VTE.

Methods and findings: Information from nationwide prospectively recorded registers of hospitalization, drug dispensing from pharmacies, socio-economic data, and causes of death was linked on an individual level. In an unselected nationwide cohort, we used multivariate Poisson regression models controlling for age, gender, comorbidity, concomitant medication, socio-economic data, and calendar year, to assess the risk of VTE associated with psoriasis. A total of 35,138 patients with mild and 3,526 patients with severe psoriasis were identified and compared with 4,126,075 controls. Patients with psoriasis had higher incidence rates per 1000 person-years of VTE than controls (1.29, 1.92, and 3.20 for controls, mild psoriasis, and severe psoriasis, respectively). The rate ratio (RR) of VTE was elevated in all patients with psoriasis with RR 1.35 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21-1.49) and RR 2.06 (CI 1.63-2.61) for mild and severe psoriasis, respectively. Exclusion of patients with malignancies, and censoring of patients undergoing surgery did not alter the results.

Conclusion: This nationwide cohort study indicates that patients with psoriasis are at increased risk of VTE. The risk was highest in young patients with severe psoriasis. Physicians should be aware that patients with psoriasis may be at increased risk of both venous and arterial thromboembolic events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Bias
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Psoriasis / complications*
  • Psoriasis / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Venous Thromboembolism / epidemiology*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology*