Background: Several epidemiological studies have shown that psoriasis increases the risk of developing atrial fibrillation but evidence of this is still scarce.
Aims: Our objective was to systematically review, synthesise and critique the epidemiological studies that provided information about the relationship between psoriasis and atrial fibrillation risk.
Methods: We searched through PubMed, EMBASE and the bibliographies for articles published between 1 January 2000, and 1 November 2017, that reported on the association between psoriasis and atrial fibrillation. All abstracts, full-text articles and sources were reviewed with duplicate data excluded. Summary relative risks (RRs) with 95% CI were pooled using a random effects model.
Results: We identified 252 articles, of these eight unique abstracts underwent full-text review. We finally selected six out of these eight studies comprising 11,187 atrial fibrillation patients. The overall pooled relative risk (RR) of atrial fibrillation was 1.39 (95% CI: 1.257-1.523, P < 0.0001) with significant heterogeneity (I2 = 80.316, Q = 45.723, τ2 = 0.017, P < 0.0001) for the random effects model. In subgroup analysis, the greater risk was found in studies from North America, RR 1.482 (95% CI: 1.119-1.964, P < 0.05), whereas a moderate risk was observed in studies from Europe RR 1.43 (95% CI: 1.269-1.628, P < 0.0001).
Limitations: We were only able to include six studies with 11,178 atrial fibrillation patients, because only a few such studies have been published.
Conclusion: Our results showed that psoriasis is significantly associated with an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation. Therefore, physicians should monitor patient's physical condition on a timely basis.
Keywords: Psoriasis; atrial fibrillation; autoimmune disease; cardiac disease; skin disorder.