Severity of Psoriasis Associated with Increased Risk for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Patients afflicted with psoriasis have higher odds of developing abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Patients afflicted with psoriasis have higher odds of developing abdominal aortic aneurysms.

According to a new study reported in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, the risk of these aneurysms rises depending on the severity of the skin condition.

Usman Khalid, MD, PhD, fellow in the department of cardiology at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital in Denmark, said in a news release, “Psoriasis must be considered as a systemic inflammatory disease rather than an isolated skin disease. Increased awareness on heightened risk of other [CVDs], including abdominal aortic aneurysms, in patients with psoriasis is also required.”

Khalid and his team conducted a study in Denmark of all residents at least 18 years old. Of the 5,495,203 eligible residents, 59,423 reported mild psoriasis and 11,566 stated they had severe psoriasis.

Psoriasis patients were monitored from January 1, 1997 to the abdominal aortic aneurysm diagnosis, until December 31, 2011, migration, or death.

Results indicated the overall incidence of abdominal aortic aneurysm was:

· 3.72 per 10,000 person-years for the general population

· 7.3 per 10,000 person-years for patients with mild psoriasis

· 9.87 per 10,000 person-years for patients with severe psoriasis

Based on the results, Khalid acknowledged further research was necessary to determine whether psoriasis patients should also be screened for abdominal aortic aneurysms. The team also wanted to confirm whether anti-inflammatory treatments for psoriasis could potentially reduce the risk for abdominal aortic aneurysms.