Objective: To assess the incidence and risk factors of cardiovascular events in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
Methods: A cohort analysis was conducted involving patients recruited and followed over the period from 1978 to 2013 in a large PsA clinic. The participants were assessed at 6 to 12-month intervals according to a standard protocol. The collected information included demographics, lifestyle habits, medical history, medications use and PsA-related outcomes. The primary outcome was a composite major cardiovascular end point comprising myocardial infarction, ischaemic stroke, revascularisation or cardiovascular death. The association between the features of disease activity and the occurrence of cardiovascular events was assessed using Cox proportional hazard models.
Results: A total of 1091 patients with PsA were analysed. During the follow-up period, 104 cardiovascular events occurred. A considerable proportion of patients developed a cardiovascular event (19.8% of the patients by the age of 70 years and 30.1% of patient by the age of 80 years). No trend in the risk of developing cardiovascular events was observed over the decades from 1978 to 2013 (p=0.73). In multivariate analysis, the following variables were independent predictors of major cardiovascular events: hypertension (relative risk (RR) 1.81, p=0.015), diabetes (RR 2.72, p<0.001) and the number of dactylitic digits (RR 1.20, p<0.001). Sedimentation rate was a significant predictor only among women (RR 1.83, p=0.02).
Conclusion: A significant proportion of patients with PsA develop cardiovascular events during the course of their disease. Increased cardiovascular risk is associated with a combination of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and disease activity.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular Disease; Epidemiology; Psoriatic Arthritis.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/