Clinical Review

Translating the 2019 AAD-NPF Guidelines of Care for Psoriasis With Attention to Comorbidities

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Mood Disorders

Psoriasis affects QOL and can have a major impact on patients’ interpersonal relationships. Studies have shown an association between psoriasis and mood disorders, specifically depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, patients with mood disorders are less likely to seek intervention for their skin disease, which poses a tremendous treatment barrier. Dermatologists should regularly monitor patients for psychiatric symptoms so that resources and treatments can be offered.

Certain psoriasis therapies have been shown to help alleviate associated depression and anxiety. Improvements in Beck Depression Inventory and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores were seen with etanercept.23 Adalimumab and ustekinumab showed improvement in Dermatology Life Quality Index compared with placebo.24,25 Patients receiving Goeckerman treatment also had improvement in anxiety and depression scores compared with conventional therapy.26 Biologic medications had the largest impact on improving depression symptoms compared with conventional systemic therapy and phototherapy.27 The recommendations support use of biologics and the Goeckerman regimen for the concomitant treatment of mood disorders and psoriasis.

Renal Disease

Studies have supported an association between psoriasis and chronic kidney disease (CKD), independent of risk factors including vascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes. The prevalence of moderate to advanced CKD also has been found to be directly related to increasing BSA affected by psoriasis.28 Patients should receive testing of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and urine microalbumin levels to assess for occult renal disease. In addition, physicians should be cautious when prescribing nephrotoxic drugs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and cyclosporine) and renally excreted agents (methotrexate and apremilast) because of the risk for underlying renal disease in patients with psoriasis. If newly acquired renal disease is suspected, physicians should withhold the offending agents. Patients with psoriasis with CKD are recommended to follow up with their PCP or nephrologist for evaluation and management.

Pulmonary Disease

Psoriasis also has an independent association with COPD. Patients with psoriasis have a higher likelihood of developing COPD (hazard ratio, 2.35; 95% CI, 1.42-3.89; P<.01) than controls.29 The prevalence of COPD also was found to correlate with psoriasis severity. Dermatologists should educate patients about the association between smoking and psoriasis as well as advise patients to discontinue smoking to reduce their risk for developing COPD and cancer.

Patients with psoriasis also are at an increased risk for obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea should be considered in patients with risk factors including snoring, obesity, hypertension, or diabetes.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Patients with psoriasis have an increased risk for developing IBD. The prevalence ratios of both Crohn disease (2.49) and ulcerative colitis (1.64) are increased in patients with psoriasis relative to patients without psoriasis.30 Physicians need to be aware of the association between psoriasis and IBD and the effect that their coexistence may have on treatment choice for patients.

Adalimumab and infliximab are approved for the treatment of IBD, and certolizumab and ustekinumab are approved for Crohn disease. Use of TNF inhibitors in patients with IBD may cause psoriasiform lesions to develop.31 Nonetheless, treatment should be individualized and psoriasiform lesions treated with standard psoriasis measures. Psoriasis patients with IBD are recommended to avoid IL-17–inhibitor therapy, given its potential to worsen IBD flares.


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