Psoriasis patients who experience physical trauma have an increased risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, according to a study presented at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Conference (EULAR 2015) in Rome.

The risk was particularly high among those who experienced trauma that involved bones and/or joints.

The study included data from 15,416 psoriasis patients who had experienced trauma and 55,230 controls collected between 1995 and 2013. Participants were followed-up for a total of 425,120 person-years, during which the researchers recorded 1,010 cases of incident psoriatic arthritis.

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For psoriasis patients not exposed to trauma, the incidence of psoriatic arthritis was 22 per 10,000 person-years. For psoriasis patients exposed to trauma, the incidence was 30 per 10,000 person-years.

After adjusting for age, gender, date of entry into the patient database, duration of psoriasis, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption, and number of visits to general practitioners, psoriasis patients who experienced trauma had a significantly increased risk of psoriatic arthritis compared with controls (hazard ratio 1.32).

The risk was even higher for those who experienced traumas involving bone (hazard ratio 1.46) or joints (hazard ratio 1.50). Nerve and skin trauma were not related to psoriatic arthritis risk.

“This is the first sizable population-based cohort study to determine the risk of psoriatic arthritis following trauma in psoriasis patients,” researcher Thorvardur Love, MD, from Landspitali University Hospital in Iceland, said in a press release. “Our findings highlight the importance further study into the complex factors that lead to arthritis in psoriasis patients, as we may find ways to modify the risk once we fully understand it.”


  1. Thorarensen S et al. “Physical trauma is associated with the onset of psoriatic arthritis among psoriasis patients.” EULAR 2015; Rome: Abstract OP0311.