Introduction: Several studies reported an increased cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). We performed a meta-analysis on the impact of PsA on major markers of CV risk.
Methods: Studies on the relationship between PsA and common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CCA-IMT), prevalence of carotid plaques, flow-mediated dilation (FMD), nitrate-mediated dilation (NMD), pulse wave velocity (PWV), augmentation index (AIx), and ankle-brachial index (ABI) were systematically searched in the PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and EMBASE databases.
Results: Sixteen case-control studies (898 cases, 1,140 controls) were included. Compared to controls, PsA patients showed a higher CCA-IMT (MD 0.07 mm; 95% CI 0.04, 0.11; P < 0.0001), and a higher frequency of carotid plaques (OR 3.12; 95% CI 1.03, 9.39; P = 0.04). Moreover, a lower FMD was found in PsA subjects than in controls (MD -2.56%; 95% CI -4.17, -0.94; P = 0.002), with no differences in NMD (MD -0.40%; 95% CI -1.19, 0.39; P = 0.32). Because of the low number of studies, no meta- analytical evaluation was performed for PWV, AIx, and ABI. Despite heterogeneity among studies, PsA appears significantly associated with markers of subclinical atherosclerosis and CV risk.
Discussion: These findings could help to establish more specific CV prevention strategies in this clinical setting.
Keywords: Carotid plaques; flow-mediated dilation; intima-media thickness; psoriatic arthritis; subclinical atherosclerosis.