Background: The pathogenesis of psoriasis is complex, with a significant role suggested for pro-inflammatory mediators. There is strong evidence of an association between psoriasis and the metabolic syndrome (MetS), a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors, which impose a substantial disease burden. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of MetS and to examine the implications of disease severity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease in a large cohort of Italian psoriatic patients representative of the whole population. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving 13 dermatological clinics in Italy. The primary study endpoint was a comparison of the prevalence of MetS between psoriatic patients and a non-psoriatic control group; secondary endpoints included the influence of psoriasis severity on the prevalence of MetS, and the relative prevalence and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disorders. Results: A total of 720 patients were enrolled (n = 360 per group). The prevalence of MetS was 26.84 % in the psoriatic population and 15.16 % in the control population (p = 0.0001; adjusted odds ratio 1.96). MetS was associated with a greater degree of psoriasis severity, and the prevalence and risk of diabetes tended to be higher in psoriatic patients than in the control group. Conclusion: In the Italian population, the prevalence of MetS and associated comorbidities is elevated in patients with psoriasis compared with non-psoriatic subjects, as has been demonstrated in other countries. Our findings reinforce the importance of considering the implications of metabolic comorbidities in treating patients with psoriasis.
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