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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2014 Mar-Apr;32(2):182-7. Epub 2014 Jan 30.

Hypertension and diabetes significantly enhance the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with psoriatic arthritis.

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  • 1Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo e Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.



New evidence has lightened the linkage between psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD). We aimed to describe the prevalence of cardiovascular events and associated risk factors among patients with PsA.


Retrospective evaluation of medical records from consecutive PsA patients who fulfilled the CASPAR criteria for PsA attending a specialised spondyloarthritis clinic at a single referral centre. CVD was defined based on the occurrence of coronary artery disease (CAD) or cerebrovascular ischaemic disease events.


We evaluated 158 PsA patients, 48.7% females and 51.3% males, aged 53.7±13.9 yrs. Mean PsA duration was 13.7±8.9 yrs and polyarticular subtype affected 66 (42%) patients. According to drug therapy, 85 (54%) were using NSAIDs and 21 (13%) low-dose prednisone; 32 (20%) were on anti-TNF agents, 94 (60%) metothrexate, 18 (11%) leflunomide, 13 (8%) sulfasalazine, 5 (3%) other immunossupressors and 4 (2.5%) were on chloroquine. Over half patients (87, 55%) had arterial hypertension (AH); 51 (32%) had dyslipidaemia (DLP), 38 (29%) hypertriglyceridemia and 36 (23%) diabetes mellitus (DM). Lipid profile was similar for both genders with mean total cholesterol= 186.5±38.6mg/dl, LDL=112.3±30.6 mg/dl, HDL= 47.89±14.6 and triglycerides= 127.4± 65.6 mg/dl. Of note, 14% PsA patients have had CVD, namely cerebrovascular or coronary heart disease. Sex, age, disease duration, joint involvement subtype, disease activity, CRP and lipid levels were similar among patients with and without CVD. The prevalence of AH (95% vs. 45%, p<0.001), DLP (75% vs. 27.7%, p<0.001) and DM (60% vs. 19%, p<0.001) were significantly greater in PsA patients who have had CVD compared to those without CVD, conferring an odds ratio of 21.0 for AH and of 5.4 for DM.


The high prevalence of CVD in PsA patients is influenced by increased AH and DM. Hence early recognition and specific treatment is mandatory in order to reduce the risk for CVD, avoiding early morbidity and mortality.

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