Underdiagnosis and undertreatment of cardiovascular risk factors in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Jul;67(1):76-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2011.06.035. Epub 2011 Oct 22.


Background: Patients with psoriasis are known to have an increased number of cardiovascular (CV) risk factors and be at increased risk for CV events.

Objectives: We sought to describe and characterize the underdiagnosis and undertreatment of CV risk factors in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis.

Methods: Medical histories including diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia were obtained from 2899 patients in 3 phase III ustekinumab trials, a therapeutic anti-interleukin (IL)-12/IL-23p40 monoclonal antibody. Reported history was compared with measured fasting glucose, fasting lipids, and blood pressure. Ten-year Framingham risk scores and the proportion of patients achieving glycemic, lipid, and blood pressure targets were evaluated.

Results: Significant risk factors existed in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis (58.6% and 28.8% of patients had ≥ 2 and ≥ 3 established CV risk factors, respectively). Based on Framingham risk score, 18.6% of patients were at high risk and 12.3% were at intermediate risk for CV events. At baseline, a small proportion of patients with diabetes (2.3%), hypertension (9.1%), or hyperlipidemia (4.9%) were previously without a diagnosis. However, 19.1%, 21.8%, and 38.6% of patients with diabetes, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia, respectively, were untreated at baseline, and the proportion at treatment goal was not ideal (hypertension 59.6% and hyperlipidemia 69.7%), especially for diabetes (36.7%).

Limitations: Results are based on a clinical trial population and findings may not be generalizable to the general psoriasis population.

Conclusions: In this moderate to severe psoriasis population, a high prevalence of undiagnosed and undertreated CV risk factors existed, emphasizing the importance of screening patients with psoriasis for CV risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications
  • Hyperlipidemias / diagnosis
  • Hyperlipidemias / therapy
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / therapy
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Syndrome / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Psoriasis / complications*
  • Risk Factors