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Association of central adiposity with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: a cross-sectional study of the UK Biobank


Ferguson LD1, Brown R1, Celis-Morales C1, Welsh P1, Lyall DM2, Pell JP2, McInnes IB3, Siebert S3, Sattar N1. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2019 May 25. pii: kez192. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kez192. [Epub ahead of print]

Author Information

1 Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences.

2 Institute of Health & Wellbeing.

3 Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.



To determine the independent association of central adiposity, assessed by waist circumference, with odds of psoriasis, PsA and RA prevalence after controlling for general adiposity (BMI).


A cross-sectional study of UK Biobank participants aged 40-70 years was performed. Logistic regression was used to calculate the odds of psoriasis, PsA and RA occurrence compared with controls without these conditions by waist circumference, adjusting for covariates: age, sex, smoking status, socioeconomic deprivation and self-reported physical activity (Model 1), followed additionally by BMI (Model 2).


A total of 502 417 participants were included; 5074 with psoriasis (1.02%), 905 with PsA (0.18%), 5532 with RA (1.11%) and 490 906 controls without these conditions. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) (Model 1) for psoriasis, PsA and RA, per s.d. (13.5 cm) higher waist circumference were 1.20 (95% CI 1.16, 1.23), 1.30 (95% CI 1.21, 1.39) and 1.21 (95% CI 1.17, 1.24), respectively (all P < 0.001). These ORs remained significant after further adjustment for BMI (Model 2) in psoriasis [OR 1.19 (95% CI 1.12, 1.27), P < 0.001] and RA [OR 1.19 (95% CI 1.12, 1.26), P < 0.001], but not in PsA [OR 1.11 (95% CI 0.95, 1.29), P = 0.127].


Central adiposity as measured by waist circumference is associated with greater odds of psoriasis and RA prevalence after adjustment for confounders and for BMI. Our findings add support for central adiposity as a long-term clinically relevant component of these conditions.