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Derm News: 2007.1(6)

The importance of disease associations and concomitant therapy for the long-term management of psoriasis patients

Archives of Dermatological Research, Volume 298, Number 7
Ulrich Mrowietz, James T. Elder and Jonathan Barker

It is well established that several inflammatory-type conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and irritable bowel disease exist comorbidly and at an increased incidence in patients with psoriasis. Psoriasis and other associated diseases are thought to share common inflammatory pathways. Conditions such as these, with similar pathogenic mechanisms involving cytokine dysregulation, are referred to as immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs).

Considerable evidence for the genetic basis of cormobidities in psoriasis exists. The WHO has reported that the occurrence of chronic diseases, including IMIDs, are a rising global burden. In addition, conditions linked with psoriasis have been associated with increasing rates of considerable morbidity and mortality. The presence of comorbid conditions in psoriasis patients has important implications for clinical management. QoL, direct health care expenditures and pharmacokinetics of concomitant therapies are impacted by the presence of comorbid conditions.

For example, methotrexate is contraindicated in hepatic impairment, while patients on ciclosporin should be monitored for kidney function. In addition, some agents, such as beta blockers, lithium, synthetic antimalarial drugs, NSAIDs and tetracycline antibiotics, have been implicated in the initiation or exacerbation of psoriasis. Consequently, collaboration between physicians in different specialties is essential to ensuring that psoriasis treatment benefits the patient without exacerbating associated conditions.

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The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.