Assessing cardiac risk in patients with psoriatic disease

Patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis–collectively termed psoriatic disease–face increased heart risks. It is well accepted that patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA), collectively termed psoriatic disease (PsD), are at an increased risk of cardiovascular events (CVE). This elevated cardiovascular risk is in part due to traditional cardiovascular risk factors (e.g. diabetes and dyslipidemia) but also related to systemic inflammation.A new study (Sobchak C et al. The value of carotid ultrasound in cardiovascular risk stratification in patients with psoriatic disease. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019 Jun 5. doi: 10.1002/art.40925) indicates that ultrasound imaging of the carotid arteries can indicate the risk of experiencing future cardiovascular events.

The findings suggest that combining such imaging data with clinical and laboratory measures of traditional cardiovascular risk factors could improve risk predictions and identify which patients with psoriatic disease might benefit from more intensive heart-protective therapies.

Ultrasound is widely used in rheumatology settings as a point of care to detect joint inflammation. Our study suggests that ultrasound can also be used to identify patients that are at high cardiovascular risk who may be missed by the conventional methods such as the Framingham risk score,” said senior author Dr. L Eder,, of the University of Toronto. “This will allow early intervention, such as initiation of lipid lowering therapy, which will ultimately lower the risk of developing cardiovascular events.”

doi: 10.1002/art.40925