Increased risk of cardiovascular disease in psoriatic arthritis patients

Patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, possibly due to a chronic inflammatory state. New evidence shared at EULAR –the annual meeting of the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology –supports this, showing that aortic vascular inflammation is increased in patients with active PsA compared with controls

"This evidence suggests that inflammation in PsA is not limited to skin and joints, but also involves the cardiovascular system", says Nienke Kleinrensink, lead author on the abstract shared in a session on Comorbidities in RMD at the 2023 EULAR congress in Milan, Italy.

The new finding is based on work done at UMC Utrecht in the Netherlands. Part of the study was funded by Pfizer and Health Holland. The main objective was to investigate whether vascular inflammation is elevated in PsA patients. The team used positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) in 75 people with PsA with active peripheral arthritis, and compared them to a group of 40 people with melanoma, without distant metastases and not receiving immunotherapy as non-inflammatory controls.

The results showed that vascular inflammation was increased in people with PsA in comparison with controls. This association remained significant after the researchers adjusted the data to take into account the impact of gender, age, body mass index, and mean arterial pressure. The increased vascular inflammation was consistent across different segments measured, including the aortic arch, ascending, descending, suprarenal, and infrarenal aorta.

The authors concluded that aortic vascular inflammation is increased in people with active PsA compared with controls.

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