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Keywords:

  • incidence rates;
  • myocardial infarction;
  • psoriasis;
  • stroke;
  • transient ischaemic attack

Summary

Background  Systemic inflammation may increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases in patients with psoriasis, but data on this risk in patients with early psoriasis are scarce.

Objectives  To assess and compare the risk of developing incident myocardial infarction (MI), stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) between an inception cohort of patients with psoriasis and a psoriasis-free population.

Methods  We conducted an inception cohort study with a nested case–control analysis within the U.K.-based General Practice Research Database. The study population encompassed 36 702 patients with a first-time recorded diagnosis of psoriasis 1994–2005, matched 1 : 1 to psoriasis-free patients. We assessed crude incidence rates (IRs) and applied conditional logistic regression to obtain odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results  Overall, the IRs of MI (= 449), stroke (= 535) and TIA (= 402) were similar among patients with or without psoriasis. However, the adjusted OR of developing MI for patients with psoriasis aged < 60 years was 1·66 (95% CI 1·03–2·66) compared with patients without psoriasis, while the OR for patients aged ≥ 60 years was 0·99 (95% CI 0·77–1·26). The adjusted ORs of developing MI for patients of all ages with ≤ 2 or > 2 prescriptions/year for oral psoriasis treatment were 2·48 (95% CI 0·69–8·91) and 1·39 (95% CI 0·43–4·53), with a similar finding for stroke and TIA.

Conclusions  The risk of developing a cardiovascular outcome was not materially elevated for patients with early psoriasis overall. In subanalyses, however, there was a suggestion of an increased (but low absolute) MI risk for patients with psoriasis aged < 60 years, mainly with severe disease.