People with psoriasis, especially those with severe psoriasis, are at high risk of chronic pancreatitis (CP), researchers reported in the study, “The Risk of Chronic Pancreatitis in Patients with Psoriasis: A Population-Based Cohort Study,” recently published in PLoS One.
The investigators also found that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may lower this risk.
Psoriasis, affecting between 2 percent and 3 percent of the world’s population, is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by patches of abnormal skin. The disorder has been linked to various comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease, chronic renal diseases, and diabetes. With respect to CP, however, only a handful of small studies and case reports have been published.
Researchers used the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database to evaluated the risk of CP in a large group of Chinese patients with psoriasis.
A total of 48,430 psoriasis patients and 193,720 people serving as controls were included and CP risk evaluated and compared between both groups using a mathematical regression model called Stratified Cox Proportional Hazards.
For a mean 6.6-year follow-up period, the results suggested that the incidence of CP in patients with psoriasis was almost twice than that of controls. After adjusting parameters by gender, age group, medications, and comorbidities, the researchers found that the risk remained significantly elevated.
Except for a subgroup of patients with arthritis, all those with psoriasis were also found to be at a significantly increased risk for CP, which further rose with psoriasis severity. After adjusting the parameters, the researchers demonstrated that psoriasis patients treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and methotrexate had a lower risk of developing CP.
“In conclusion, our nationwide study demonstrated that patients with psoriasis are at a significantly elevated risk of CP and the risk increased with severity of psoriasis. CP was thought to have a complex aetiology and the increased development of CP in patients with psoriasis was multifaceted and may be the result of several ongoing processes, including chronic inflammation in psoriasis, drugs, autoimmune pancreatitis, and genetic and behavioral risk factors,” the authors concluded.
“These results suggest the need for physicians to be aware of the pancreatic comorbidity associated with psoriasis and that earlier detection and intervention may reduce the significant morbidity and mortality in CP. Future studies are needed to better explore the pathophysiological basis underlying the relationship between psoriasis and CP, and to investigate the efficacy of systemic anti-inflammatory therapy in decreasing the risk of CP in patients with psoriasis,” they added.