Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and co-morbidities of psoriasis represent a significant clinical and economic burden for patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis. Often these co-morbidities may go unrecognized or undertreated. While published data are available on the incidence and impact of some of them, practical guidance for dermatologists on detection and management of these co-morbidities is lacking.
To prepare expert recommendations to improve the detection and management of common co-morbidities in patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis.
A systematic literature review was conducted on some common co-morbidities of psoriasis–cardiovascular (CV) diseases (including obesity, hypertension, hyperglycaemia and dyslipidaemia), psychological co-morbidities (including depression, alcohol abuse and smoking) and PsA–to establish the incidence and impact of each. Data gaps were identified and a Delphi survey was carried out to obtain consensus on the detection and management of each co-morbidity. The expert panel members for the Delphi survey comprised 10 dermatologists with substantial clinical expertise in managing moderate-to-severe psoriasis patients, as well as a cardiologist and a psychologist (see appendix) with an interest in dermatology. Agreement was defined using a Likert scale of 1–7. Consensus regarding agreement for each statement was defined as ≥75% of respondents scoring either 1 (strongly agree) or 2 (agree).
The expert panel members addressed several topics including screening, intervention, monitoring frequency, and the effects of anti-psoriatic treatment on each co-morbidity. Consensus was achieved on 12 statements out of 22 (3 relating to PsA, 4 relating to psychological factors, 5 relating to CV factors). The panel members felt that dermatologists have an important role in screening their psoriasis patients for PsA and in assessing them for psychological and CV co-morbidities. In most cases, however, patients should be referred for specialist management if other co-morbidities are detected.
This article provides useful and practical guidance for the detection and management of common co-morbidities in patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis.