Self-reported depression in psoriasis is associated with subclinical vascular diseases


      • Patients with psoriasis are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
      • Depression is associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular events.
      • Depression is a common comorbidity in psoriasis.
      • Comorbid depression is associated with increased subclinical atherosclerosis.
      • Framingham risk cannot fully explain vascular disease seen in comorbid depression.


      Background and aims

      Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disorder associated with vascular inflammation, measured by 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18-FDG PET/CT), and an increased risk of myocardial infarction. Patients with psoriasis are also more likely to suffer from comorbid depression. Whether depression accelerates the development of subclinical atherosclerosis in psoriasis is unknown.


      Patients were selected from within a larger psoriasis cohort. Those who reported a history of depression (N = 36) on survey were matched by age and gender to patients who reported no history of psychiatric illness (N = 36). Target-to-background ratio from FDG PET/CT was used to assess aortic vascular inflammation and coronary CT angiography scans were analyzed to determine coronary plaque burden. Multivariable linear regression was performed to understand the effect of self-reported depression on vascular inflammation and coronary plaque burden after adjustment for Framingham risk (standardized β reported).


      In unadjusted analyses, vascular inflammation and coronary plaque burden were significantly increased in patients with self-reported depression as compared to patients with psoriasis alone. After adjustment for Framingham Risk Score, vascular inflammation (β = 0.26, p = 0.02), total plaque burden (β = 0.17, p = 0.03), and non-calcified burden (β = 0.17, p = 0.03) were associated with self-reported depression.


      Self-reported depression in psoriasis is associated with increased vascular inflammation and coronary plaque burden. Depression may play an important role in promoting subclinical atherosclerosis beyond traditional cardiovascular risk factors.


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      Linked Article

      • Inflammation, depression and atherosclerosis or depression, inflammation and atherosclerosis?
        AtherosclerosisVol. 251
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          In their paper published in Atherosclerosis, Aberra et al. [1] describe an association between depression, inflammation and subclinical atherosclerosis in 36 patients with psoriasis and self-reported depression and 36 patients affected by psoriasis but without history of depression matched for risk factors. In an elegant design, they performed positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) with fluorideoxyglucose (FDG) to detect inflammation in the aorta and CT angiography of the coronary arteries.
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