Psoriasis tied to higher risk of serious liver disease
One limitation of the study is that researchers didn’t look at deaths from liver disease. Another drawback is that they lacked data on whether people at risk for liver disease might have been steered away from methotrexate to other therapies.
Even so, the findings add to evidence that patients need to consider the liver risks associated with these disorders, said Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield, a researcher at the University of California, San Diego, who wasn’t involved in the study.
“Patients should be aware that psoriasis has health impacts beyond the skin alone, and its management should be considered as an important part of the health of an individual,” Eichenfield said by email. “Liver function tests should be tested in psoriasis patients and the results may influence choices for therapy.”
An alternative treatment for joint pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), also carry a risk of liver disease, cautioned Dr. Alexander Egeberg, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen who wasn’t involved in the study.
“Consequently, physicians should carefully weigh the risks and benefits of NSAIDs as well as methotrexate when treating patients with inflammatory diseases,” Egeberg said by email.