Objectives. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of PsA in The Health Improvement Network (THIN), a large population-based medical records database in the UK, to examine factors associated with prevalent PsA among patients with psoriasis and to describe the use of DMARDs in patients with PsA.
Methods. Two cohorts were derived from THIN to examine the prevalence of PsA in a cross-sectional study among all patients aged 18–90 years and among a subcohort of 4900 psoriasis patients aged 45–65 years. Prescription codes were used to describe therapies after the diagnosis of PsA. Associations for prevalent PsA among psoriasis patients were assessed using logistic regression analysis.
Results. Among 4.8 million patients in THIN between the ages of 18 and 90 years, 9045 patients had at least one medical code for PsA, giving an overall prevalence of 0.19% (95% CI 0.19%, 0.19%). Of those patients, 45.9% with PsA have been prescribed DMARDs. Among the 4064 confirmed psoriasis patients, the prevalence of PsA was 8.6% (95% CI 7.7%, 9.5%). PsA was more prevalent among patients with severe psoriasis [odds ratio (OR) 3.34; 95% CI 2.40, 4.65], obesity (OR 1.77; 95% CI 1.30, 2.41) and duration of psoriasis for ≥10 years (OR 7.42; 95% CI 3.86, 14.25) in the fully adjusted model.
Conclusion. The prevalence of PsA in THIN is consistent with previous population-based estimates. Limitations include a definition of PsA based on a diagnostic code rather than Classification Criteria for Psoriatic Arthritis (CASPAR) criteria. Given the large population of PsA patients, THIN is an important resource for the study of PsA.