VANCOUVER, B.C. – The combination of even mild psoriasis and a diagnosis of depression is associated with a greater risk of acute MI than is either condition alone, according to a Danish national study.
Moreover, when depression coincided with a severe case of psoriasis, not only was the risk of incident acute MI elevated, but the risk that the MI would be fatal was significantly increased as well, Dr. Alexander Egeberg reported at the World Congress of Dermatology.
He presented a population-based cohort study of the entire Danish population, for the period of 1997-2011. The study population comprised 5,158,870 Danish citizens, including 50,480 Danes diagnosed with mild psoriasis and 10,974 others diagnosed with severe psoriasis during the study years. During that period, 11,142 members of the group with mild psoriasis and 3,063 with severe psoriasis were diagnosed with incident depression.
In a multivariate Cox regression analysis adjusted for age, gender, comorbid conditions, and concomitant medications, Danes with mild psoriasis but no diagnosis of depression were at a statistically significant 18% increased risk of having an acute MI compared to the general Danish population free of both diseases; the risk climbed upward from there (see chart).
A consistent trend for an increased risk of fatal MI was evident in patients with psoriasis, be it mild or severe, and with or without comorbid depression. However, this risk achieved statistical significance only in the group with severe psoriasis plus depression, a state associated with a 64% increased risk of fatal MI compared with the general population.
Although recent years have brought clear evidence that psoriasis is associated with increased risks of heart disease and depression, and that stand-alone depression is a risk factor for ischemic coronary events, the link between psoriasis, depression, and MI previously was unclear, explained Dr. Egeberg, who performed the research while at the University of Copenhagen but is now employed by Pfizer.
The retrospective study was conducted with the use of linked comprehensive national databases. The work was supported by a research grant from Pfizer.