Background: Whether systemic treatments for psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis affect cardiovascular comorbidities is a clinically significant question.
Objective: To examine the effects of biologic agents and other Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) used to treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis on cardiovascular risk factors and adverse cardiovascular outcomes.
Methods: MEDLINE (1980-October 2012), Web of Science, the EULAR abstract database, and the AAD annual meeting abstract archive were searched for studies evaluating biologic and other DMARD therapy for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis that reported cardiovascular events as primary outcomes.
Results: From 20 studies that met the search criteria for the review, 81,469 patients with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis were included in the data synthesis of the current literature. While the data on the cardioprotective effect of methotrexate exist in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, its effect on the psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis populations with regards to cardiovascular outcomes are inconclusive at this time. The association of hypertension with long-term cyclosporine use prompts discontinuation of cyclosporine in selected patients. The use of TNF inhibitors may be associated with reduced risk of adverse cardiovascular events in preliminary epidemiologic studies; however, large randomized controlled trials and epidemiologic studies with well-characterized populations will be necessary to elucidate their exact effects. The short-term data regarding the safety of IL-12/23 inhibitors showed that, to date, there are no increased cardiovascular events compared to the general population.
Conclusions: To date, epidemiologic data is insufficient to reach definitive conclusions with regards to the effects of biologics and other DMARDs on cardiovascular outcomes in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients. Adequately powered, long-term, controlled studies are necessary to determine the cardioprotective effects of TNF inhibitors observed in preliminary studies on psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis populations.
Keywords: Psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, biologics, cardiovascular disease, TNF inhibitors, ustekinumab, methotrexate, systematic review.