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Risk of Multiple Sclerosis in Patients with Psoriasis: A Danish Nationwide Cohort Study

Alexander Egeberg, Lotus Mallbris, Gunnar Hilmar Gislason, Lone Skov, Peter Riis Hansen

Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Volume 136, Issue 1, January 2016, Pages 93-98


Psoriasis and multiple sclerosis (MS) are inflammatory disorders with similarities in genetic risk variants and inflammatory pathways. Limited evidence is available on the relationship between the two diseases. We therefore investigated the risk of incident (new-onset) MS in patients with mild and severe psoriasis, respectively. All Danish citizens aged ≥ 18 years from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2011 were identified by linkage of nationwide registries at the individual level. We estimated incidence rate ratios (IRRs) adjusted for age, gender, socioeconomic status, smoking, medication, comorbidity, and UV phototherapy by Poisson regression. There were 58,628 and 9,952 cases of mild and severe psoriasis, respectively, and 9,713 cases of MS. Incidence rates of MS per 10,000 person-years for the reference population, mild psoriasis, and severe psoriasis were 1.78, 3.22, and 4.55, respectively. Adjusted IRRs of MS were 1.84 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.46–2.30) and 2.61 (95% CI, 1.44–4.74) in mild and severe psoriasis, respectively. Similar results were observed when adjustment for family history of MS was included in the analyses. Psoriasis may confer a disease severity-dependent risk of MS. Further studies are warranted to establish the mechanisms underlying this relationship and its potential clinical consequences.

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About the Editors

  • Prof Timothy Vartanian

    Timothy Vartanian, Professor at the Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Department of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell...
  • Dr Claire S. Riley

    Claire S. Riley, MD is an assistant attending neurologist and assistant professor of neurology in the Neurological Institute, Columbia University,...
  • Dr Rebecca Farber

    Rebecca Farber, MD is an attending neurologist and assistant professor of neurology at the Neurological Institute, Columbia University, in New...

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