Background Psoriasis is frequently associated with overweight and obesity. Anti-TNF-α therapies are effective in the treatment of psoriasis. TNF-α is highly involved in body weight regulation.
Objective Our objective was to evaluate the increase in weight throughout the treatment with infliximab and the association of weight gain with the body mass index (BMI).
Methods Thirty-five patients affected with severe plaque psoriasis receiving infliximab were included. A control group consisted of 16 patients affected with severe plaque psoriasis and treated with cyclosporine, methotrexate, or acitretin. Assessment of PASI score, body weight and BMI were performed at a 1 and 3-year follow-up.
Results We observed a body weight increment of 2.5 ± 4.4 kg (mean ± SD) (i.e. + 3.6% of baseline) and 0.1 ± 5 kg (i.e. + 1.2%) in patients treated with infliximab and the control group, respectively (P = 0.046), after 1 year of treatment. After 3 years of infliximab administration, weight gain was 4.8 ± 5 kg (n = 16) (i.e. + 6%) (P = 0.005). Moreover, as classified by BMI, normal weight patients experienced a 4 ± 3.7 kg weight gain (i.e. + 6%) whereas overweight and obese patients had gained 1.3 ± 4.8 kg (i.e. + 1.2%) (P = 0.039) after 1 year of anti-TNF-α therapy. Percentual changes in body weight were larger in normal weight patients at baseline than in overweight/obese counterparts (P = 0.0149).
Conclusion All patients, including normal weight patients, should receive a dietary intervention.