Press Releases: National
August 20, 2012
Study Examines Risk of Heart Attack Associated with Various Psoriasis Treatments
PASADENA, Calif. — Use of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors for treatment of psoriasis is associated with a significantly reduced risk for heart attack (myocardial infarction) compared with other forms of treatment, according to a report published online today in the journal Archives of Dermatology.
“The effect of systemic treatment for psoriasis on cardiovascular disease has been largely unexplored,” said study lead author, Jashin J. Wu, MD, director of dermatology research and associate residency program director for the Department of Dermatology at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. “The primary objective of this study was to assess whether patients with psoriasis treated with TNF inhibitors have a decreased risk of MI (myocardial infarction) compared with those not treated with TNF inhibitors.”
Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Southern California conducted a retrospective study that included patients with at least three diagnosis codes for psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, without previous heart attacks, between January 2004 and November 2010.
Of the 8,845 patients included in the study, 5,075 (57.4 percent) were not treated with any systemic therapy or phototherapy (topical treatment group), 1,673 (18.9 percent) received a TNF inhibitor for at least two consecutive months (TNF inhibitor treatment group) and 2,097 (23.7 percent) were treated with oral systemic agents or phototherapy (oral/phototherapy treatment group).
After adjusting for other heart attack risk factors, patients in the TNF inhibitor treatment group and the oral/phototherapy treatment group had a significantly lower risk of heart attack (50 percent and 46 percent, respectively) compared with patients in the topical treatment group. Differences in risk between the TNF inhibitor group and oral/phototherapy group did not reach statistical significance.
“Future prospective studies are needed and warranted to determine whether the use of TNF inhibitors may reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with systemic inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis,” noted Dr. Wu.
Authors on the study include Jashin W. Wu, MD and Albert Yuh-JerShen, MS, MD, departments of dermatology and cardiology, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center; Kwun-Wee T. Poon, MS, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation; and Jennifer C. Channual, MD, of the Department of Dermatology, University of California, Irvine.
Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation
The Department of Research & Evaluation (R&E) conducts high-quality, innovative research into disease etiology, prevention, treatment and care delivery. Investigators conduct epidemiology, health sciences, and behavioral research as well as clinical trials. Areas of interest include diabetes and obesity, cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, aging and cognition, pregnancy outcomes, women’s and children’s health, quality and safety, and pharmacoepidemiology. Located in Pasadena, Calif., the department focuses on translating research to practice quickly to benefit the health and lives of Kaiser Permanente Southern California members and the general population. Visit www.kp.org/research.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.