Do Psoriatic Diseases Increase Death Risk?

Patients with psoriasis had a higher risk for mortality compared with the general population, according to the findings of a recent study. However, this risk was not elevated among patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

The retrospective cohort study included individuals who received a diagnosis of psoriasis or PsA at a hospital in the Danish National Patient Registry and matched controls from the general population. Cause-specific mortality and risk of death were assessed as the main outcomes.
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The death rates per 1000 patient-years for individuals with psoriasis were 22.29 compared with 13.89 for controls and 10.83 for individuals with PsA compared with 11.63 for controls. In analysis that used stratified hazard ratios (HR), survival was found to be significantly lower among individuals with psoriasis compared with controls, however, PsA was not associated with lower survival.

In addition, individuals with psoriasis had a significantly increased risk of death compared with controls, and this was associated with a number of causes. The highest risk for death was among individuals with diseases of the digestive system, endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases, and certain infections and parasitic diseases. Compared with controls, individuals with psoriasis died at younger ages (mean age 70.96 vs 74.51 years).

Among individuals with PsA, only certain infections and parasitic diseases were associated with increased mortality and diseases of the respiratory system.

“Individuals with severe psoriasis have an increased mortality risk compared with matched controls, due to a number of causes. Evidence to support an increased risk for individuals with PsA was less convincing,” the researchers concluded.


Skov L, Thomsen SF, Kristensen LE, Dodge R, Hedegaard MS, Kjellberg J. Cause‐specific mortality in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis [published online June 27, 2018]. Bri J Dermatol. doi:10.1111/bjd.16919