More studies describing symptoms and disease severity in people with sarcoidosis and psoriasis are urgently needed to understand how the diseases may increase the risk of other medical conditions, a cross-sectional study says.
Sarcoidosis and psoriasis, both chronic inflammatory diseases, frequently co-occur. While sarcoidosis can affect any organ in the body, psoriasis typically affects the skin, causing itchy or sore patches of thick, scaly red skin. However, the prevalence and symptom severity in patients affected by the two disorders had never been addressed.
In this study, researchers sought to document the incidence and comorbidities experienced by patients with both disorders using a large U.S. medical database.
The observational, cross-sectional study involved 68 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of sarcoidosis and psoriasis. All patients were selected based on their medical records, which had been stored at the Research Patient Data Registry, following approval from Partners Healthcare, a not-for-profit healthcare organization.
The study also included 68 patients with sarcoidosis or psoriasis alone, and a control group of 68 healthy individuals.
In the group of patients with both disorders, most had sarcoidosis in the lymph nodes (77.9%), lungs (58.8%) and skin (8.8%).
Comparative analysis revealed that patients with both disorders had a higher incidence of osteoarthritis (autoimmune disease that affects a person’s joints) (57.4%) and hypertension (high blood pressure) (55.9%) compared to controls (23.5% and 32.4%, respectively).
However, the risk of developing other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or cardiovascular disease (heart disease), was not significantly higher between patients with both disorders and those affected by sarcoidosis or psoriasis alone.
“A larger sample size may be needed to detect a significant difference, and future studies examining myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke could be valuable. Lastly, our study population was primarily white, which may reflect the location of our medical centers and could explain a lower- than-expected rate of cutaneous sarcoidosis involvement,” researchers stated.
Nevertheless, this “study highlights the importance of evaluating these populations for underlying CVD [cardiovascular disease] risk factors since the prevalence of many of these conditions exceeded 50%. Continued research is needed to better characterize individuals with concomitant psoriasis and sarcoidosis,” they added.