Severe Psoriasis Linked to Higher Risk of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Interview with
Usman Khalid MD. Ph.D. fellow
Department of Cardiology,
Gentofte Hospital, Denmark What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Khalid: Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Due to an overlap of key inflammatory mechanisms and risk factors, it is possible that abdominal aortic aneurysms and psoriasis coexist. Therefore our study aimed to evaluate this risk by using Danish nationwide registers.

Our main findings are that patients who live with psoriasis, particularly with severe disease, have a 67% (IRR 1.67) higher risk of developing abdominal aortic aneurysm compared to the general population without psoriasis. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Khalid: Patients with psoriasis may often only be visiting a dermatologist for the treatment of their skin disorder, as it is the symptoms from skin that is their primary concern. It is therefore very important that the dermatologists inform psoriatic patients about risks of cardiovascular comorbidities and initiate appropriate cardiac screening tests. Also, these patients must be encouraged to be more vigilant about healthy lifestyle to lower this risk. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Khalid: Our study adds to the evidence suggesting that people who live with psoriasis have generally a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. At present, the underlying pathophysiology and the clinical implications of our findings are unclear and require further investigation. For instance, whether patients with psoriasis should undergo regular ultrasonic screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm, or whether anti-inflammatory treatment of psoriasis may attenuate the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm, are some of the areas that entail further study.


Khalid U, et al “Nationwide study on the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms in patients with psoriasis” Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2016; DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.116.307449.

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Last Updated on April 17, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD