Psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Subclinical atherosclerosis in patients with psoriasis has not been compared with other conditions associated with increased cardiovascular risk and more rigorous cardiovascular disease screening, such as type 2 diabetes.
To assess the burden of asymptomatic coronary atherosclerosis measured by coronary artery calcium score in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis compared with patients with type 2 diabetes and healthy controls.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Three single-center, cross-sectional studies were performed in patients recruited from specialty outpatient clinics with moderate to severe psoriasis without type 2 diabetes (recruited from November 1, 2013, through April 31, 2015), patients with type 2 diabetes without psoriasis or other inflammatory diseases (recruited from July 1, 2009, through June 20, 2011), and age- and sex-matched healthy controls without psoriasis, type 2 diabetes, or other inflammatory diseases (recruited from July 1, 2009, through June 20, 2011).
Psoriasis, type 2 diabetes, and healthy control effect on coronary artery calcium score.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Coronary artery calcium measured by Agatston score.
A total of 387 individuals participated in the study. Mean (SD) age was 51 (7.7), 52 (8.0), and 52 (8.0) years in the psoriasis, type 2 diabetes, and healthy control cohorts, respectively. There were 64 men (49.6%) in each group, and most patients were white (119 [92.2%], 123 [95.3%], and 128 [99.2%] in the psoriasis, type 2 diabetes, and healthy control cohorts, respectively). Patients with psoriasis had low cardiovascular risk measured by the Framingham Risk Score but had a high prevalence of cardiovascular and cardiometabolic risk factors, similar to patients with type 2 diabetes. In a fully adjusted model, psoriasis was associated with coronary artery calcium (Tobit regression ratio, 0.89; P < .001) similar to the association in type 2 diabetes (Tobit regression ratio, 0.79; P = .04). Likelihood ratio testing revealed incremental value for psoriasis in a fully adjusted model (χ2 = 4.48, P = .03) in predicting coronary artery calcium. Psoriasis was independently associated with the presence of any coronary artery calcium (odds ratio, 2.35; 95% CI, 1.12-4.94) in fully adjusted models, whereas the association of coronary artery calcium with type 2 diabetes was no longer significant after adding body mass index to the model (odds ratio, 2.18; 95% CI, 0.75-6.35).
Conclusions and Relevance
Patients with psoriasis have increased coronary artery calcium by mean total Agatston scores, similar to that of patients with type 2 diabetes, suggesting that patients with psoriasis harbor high rates of subclinical atherosclerosis beyond adjustment for body mass index. Major educational efforts for patients and physicians should be undertaken to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in patients with psoriasis.