Methotrexate Reduces the Occurrence of Cerebrovascular Events among Taiwanese Psoriatic Patients: A Nationwide Population-based Study
Cheng-Che E. Lan, Ying-Chin Ko, Hsin-Su Yu, Ching-Shuang Wu, Wan-Chen Li, Yi-Wei Lu, Yin-Chun Chen, Yi-Ying Chin, Yi-Hsin Yang, Gwo-Shing Chen
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of methotrexate and retinoid on risks for developing cerebrovascular disease among psoriatic patients. A population-based nested case-control study was conducted using the Taiwanese National Health Insurance database. Cox proportional hazards models were adopted. The hazard ratio (HR) of newly developed cerebrovascular disease was 1.28 (95% confidence interval (CI)=1.162–1.413; p<0.0001) for psoriatic vs. non-psoriatic subjects. In terms of the effects of methotrexate or retinoid on the occurrence of cerebrovascular disease, a significant protection effect (HR=0.50; 95% CI=0.27–0.92; p=0.0264) was found for patients with methotrexate prescription. Retinoid prescription showed no protective effect. Further analyses revealed that a low cumulative methotrexate dose is associated with significant protective effect (HR = 0.53; 95% CI=0.28–1.00; p=0.0486) while a high cumulative dose was not (HR 0.80; 95% CI=0.11–5.68; p=0.8214). These results suggest that psoriatic patients receiving low-dose methotrexate treatment may have reduced risk for developing cerebrovascular disease. Further prospective study should be performed to validate the vasculoprotective effect of this treatment strategy.