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Risk of major cardiovascular events in patients with psoriasis receiving biologic therapies: a prospective cohort study

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W. Rungapiromnan, K. J. Mason, M. Lunt, K. McElhone, A. D. Burden, M. K. Rutter, R. B. Warren, C. E. M. Griffiths, D. M. Ashcroft, Jonathan Barker, Marilyn Benham, Fiona Browne, Ian Evans, Sagair Hussain, Brian Kirby, Linda Lawson, Tess McPherson, Ruth Murphy, Caroline Owen, Anthony Ormerod & 4 more Eleanor Pearson, Nick Reynolds, Josh Richards, Catherine Smith

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Early online date19 Nov 2019
Accepted/In press30 Sep 2019
E-pub ahead of print19 Nov 2019

King's Authors


Background: The cardiovascular safety profile of biologic therapies used for psoriasis is unclear. Objectives: To compare the risk of major cardiovascular events (CVEs; acute coronary syndrome, unstable angina, myocardial infarction and stroke) in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis treated with adalimumab, etanercept or ustekinumab in a large prospective cohort. Methods: Prospective cohort study examining the comparative risk of major CVEs was conducted using the British Association of Dermatologists Biologics and Immunomodulators Register. The main analysis compared adults with chronic plaque psoriasis receiving ustekinumab with tumour necrosis-α inhibitors (TNFi: etanercept and adalimumab), whilst the secondary analyses compared ustekinumab, etanercept or methotrexate against adalimumab. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using overlap weights by propensity score to balance baseline covariates among comparison groups. Results: We included 5468 biologic-naïve patients subsequently exposed (951 ustekinumab; 1313 etanercept; and 3204 adalimumab) in the main analysis. The secondary analyses also included 2189 patients receiving methotrexate. The median (p25–p75) follow-up times for patients using ustekinumab, TNFi, adalimumab, etanercept and methotrexate were as follows: 2.01 (1.16–3.21), 1.93 (1.05–3.34), 1.94 (1.09–3.32), 1.92 (0.93–3.45) and 1.43 (0.84–2.53) years, respectively. Ustekinumab, TNFi, adalimumab, etanercept and methotrexate groups had 7, 29, 23, 6 and 9 patients experiencing major CVEs, respectively. No differences in the risk of major CVEs were observed between biologic therapies [adjusted HR for ustekinumab vs. TNFi: 0.96 (95% CI 0.41–2.22); ustekinumab vs. adalimumab: 0.81 (0.30–2.17); etanercept vs. adalimumab: 0.81 (0.28–2.30)] and methotrexate against adalimumab [1.05 (0.34–3.28)]. Conclusions: In this large prospective cohort study, we found no significant differences in the risk of major CVEs between three different biologic therapies and methotrexate. Additional studies, with longer term follow-up, are needed to investigate the potential effects of biologic therapies on incidence of major CVEs.

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