Monitor psoriasis patients for kidney disease, say researchers

GPs should closely monitor patients with psoriasis for signs of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to the authors of a study linking the two conditions.

Moderate to severe psoriasis is linked to a greater risk of CKD (Photo: iStock)
Moderate to severe psoriasis is linked to a greater risk of CKD (Photo: iStock)

Patients with moderate to severe psoriasis, defined as 3% or more body surface affected, should be watched to pick up signs of CKD early, US researchers said.

Their study, published in the BMJ, found a link between the skin condition and a raised risk of kidney disease, which was independent of traditional risk factors including diabetes and heart disease.

Doctors should also carefully consider the risks and benefits of prescribing drugs that could cause further kidney damage, the researchers said.

A team from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania used data from UK medical records database The Health Improvement Network to examine the risk of CKD in 143,883 patients with psoriasis. These patients were matched to 689,702 patients without the skin condition.

CKD risk rose by 36% in moderate psoriasis cases and 58% in severe cases, compared with patients without the condition.

The raised risk was independent of established risk factors including sex, presence of diabetes and high BP and cholesterol levels.

While younger people with psoriasis were relatively more likely to develop CKD than those of the same age without the condition, the absolute risk of kidney disease was greater in older people, reflecting the effect of age on overall CKD risk.

Authors wrote: 'Increased screening efforts will allow for earlier detection and intervention to reduce the substantial morbidity and mortality associated with CKD.'

Around a fifth of psoriasis is defined as moderate or severe.

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