What are the long term effects of psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that is more likely to affect people with psoriasis. People with psoriatic arthritis have joint pain and chronic inflammation. The condition can also cause complications that range from mild to potentially life threatening.
What are the complications of psoriatic arthritis?
While most of the people who develop psoriatic arthritis (PsA) already have psoriasis, it is possible to develop it without having psoriasis first. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that affects the skin.
A 2015 analysis Trusted Source found that estimates of the prevalence of PsA among people with psoriasis varied from 6% to 41%, depending on the definitions that the experts used.
In this article, learn about the possible complications of psoriatic arthritis.
The findings of a 2018 study in Rheumatology suggest that PsA increases a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers compared people with PsA with those with psoriasis and those in the general population.
The risk of type 2 diabetes in people with PsA was about 40% higher than in those in the general population and more than 50% higher compared with those with psoriasis.
Eye health issues
According to the Arthritis Foundation, between 7% and 25% of people with PsA develop uveitis, which is inflammation of the uvea — the middle layer of the eye between the retina and the sclera. Uveitis is painful, and it can also threaten a person’s sight. PsA may also affect the skin around the eyes.
Steroids can help reduce inflammation and protect the eyes, but they also have side effects. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits with a doctor.
Psoriasis causes chronic inflammation. Over time, this inflammation can damage blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks.
People with PsA have an even higher heart disease risk than those with psoriasis alone, according to the authors of a 2018 review Trusted Source.
A healthful lifestyle may help reduce the risk of heart health problems. A heart-healthy lifestyle includes:
- maintaining a healthy weight
- being physically active
- eating a balanced and diverse diet
Severe joint pain is a common symptom of PsA. For some people, joint pain can affect mobility and the ability to do daily tasks, such as typing, working, tending to children, or cooking. It can also affect a person’s mental health.
Some people with chronic pain develop depression or anxiety. Pain-induced depression may be more resistant to treatment than typical depression, according to a 2017 analysis Trusted Source.
In another 2017 analysis, which involved 186,552 people with psoriatic arthritis, the prevalence of depression was 21.2%Trusted Source.
Lung health problems
Chronic inflammation can harm the lungs, which can lead to a lung health issue called interstitial lung disease (ILD).
ILD refers to a group of lung conditions that cause scarring of the lungs. Over time, this scarring leads to stiffness in these organs, which can make it more difficult to breathe.
Interstitial pneumonia is a potentially life threatening complication of ILD. A 2018 analysis Trusted Source found that 2% of 392 people with psoriasis had interstitial pneumonia. However, only one-fifth of the participants also had PsA.
Stomach and digestive issues
Chronic inflammation can make digestion more difficult, causing problems such as diarrhea and constipation. People with PsA are also more vulnerable to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
A 2013 study Trusted Source in women found that individuals with both psoriasis and PsA had a higher risk of Crohn’s disease than those with just psoriasis.
Liver and kidney issues
PsA also increases the risk of kidney disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
The risk of liver disease may be higher in people with other liver disease risk factors, such as obesity and metabolic syndrome.