Objectives: Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory disease, frequently associated with cardiovascular (CV) comorbidities. Our aim was to compare the prevalence of CV comorbidities between two groups of PsA patients from different European countries: Belgium and Italy. Methods: This is a cross-sectional analysis of two longitudinal cohorts in which 803 PsA patients were enrolled (463 from Belgium and 340 from Italy). All enrolled patients were ≥18 years old and fulfilled the ClASsification criteria for Psoriatic Arthritis (CASPAR criteria). For each patient, demographics, clinical assessments, smoking habits, the presence of arterial hypertension (AH), obesity (BMI ≥30), type 2 diabetes (T2D), CV diseases (acute myocardial infarction, stroke or transient ischaemic attack), dyslipidaemia (Italy only) and hypercholesterolaemia (Belgium only) were collected. Results: The most prevalent comorbidities among Italian patients with PsA were: AH (45.1%), dyslipidaemia (38.6%) and obesity (30.8%), and among Belgian patients were: hypercholesterolaemia (30.9%), obesity (27%) and AH (26.4%). Moreover, the prevalence of T2D and CV diseases was respectively 14.2% and 7.1% among Italian patients and 7.6% and 3.5% among Belgian patients. When comparing the two groups, AH, T2D and CV diseases were significantly more prevalent in Italian PsA patients. After controlling for different confounders, Italian patients, regardless of age, sex, smoking habits, PsA duration, other CV comorbidities, therapy, disease activity and function, had a higher risk to be hypertensive (OR 2.00, p=0.007). Instead of the country in which patients lived was not a predictor for the risk of T2D and CV diseases. Obesity prevalence was not different between the two groups. The lipid profile was unfavourable in both populations (even if not comparable between the two groups, due to the different way of collection), as is often the case in PsA. Conclusions: The prevalence of AH, T2D and CV diseases were higher in Italian patients rather than Belgians. Moreover, among patients with PsA, the risk of AH was higher in the Italian cohort compared to the Belgian cohort. These results suggest that further research is needed to evaluate potential extrinsic factors (geography and sociocultural aspects) that may contribute to CV risk.
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