Psoriasis Linked to Increased Heart Failure Risk

Selected by Pietro Cazzola

PsoriasiAmsterdam – Psoriasis proved to be independently associated with an increased risk for new-onset heart failure in the first nationwide study to look at a possible relationship.
As word of the newly identified psoriasis/heart failure link spreads, it’s likely cardiologists will receive a growing number of referrals from dermatologists and primary care physicians for evaluation of possible heart failure in psoriasis patients who develop shortness of breath or other symptoms suggestive of ventricular dysfunction, Dr. Usman Khalid said at the annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology.
“Our results underlie the importance of considering the psoriatic population as a high-risk patient group in terms of cardiovascular risk. We encourage early screening for cardiovascular risk factors in psoriasis patients,” he said.
Psoriasis is known to be associated with an increased cardiovascular event rate, presumably due to shared systemic inflammatory pathways, but the association between the dermatologic disease and heart failure, specifically, hadn’t been looked at in depth prior to Dr. Khalid’s presentation of a Danish study involving all 5.85 million Danish adults, who were followed from 1997 through 2009.
Among the Danish population without known heart failure at baseline were 57,049 individuals with mild psoriasis – identified by their use of prescription topical agents – and 11,638 others with severe psoriasis. The incidence of new-onset heart failure during follow-up was 2.27 cases per 1,000 person-years in subjects without psoriasis and a significantly greater 4.02 per 1,000 person-years in those with mild psoriasis and 4.50 per 1,000 person-years in individuals with severe psoriasis, reported Dr. Khalid of the University of Copenhagen.
In a multivariate regression analysis adjusted for demographic and socioeconomic factors, comorbid conditions, and use of cardiovascular medications, the likelihood of developing new-onset heart failure during follow-up was 64% greater among individuals with mild psoriasis and 85% greater in those with severe psoriasis than in psoriasis-free subjects.
Because of limitations in the registry database, it is not possible to determine the proportion of new-onset heart failure among psoriasis patients that involved systolic as opposed to diastolic dysfunction, or ischemic versus nonischemic etiology, Dr. Khalid said in response to audience questions.
This study was supported by a research grant from Leo Pharma. Dr. Khalid reported having no financial conflicts of interest.

B Jancin