Increased cardiovascular risks and mortality in prurigo nodularis: a global cohort study

Henning Olbrich, Khalaf Kridin, Gema Hernández, Henner Zirpel, Christian D. Sadik, Patrick Terheyden, Diamant Thaçi, Ralf J. Ludwig, Katharina Boch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Prurigo nodularis (PN) presents with intensely itchy hard nodules. Despite being limited to the skin, PN was noted to be associated with systemic diseases including diabetes and chronic renal failure. In previous smaller retrospective studies, several cardiac and vascular diseases were found more frequently in patients with PN. However, small cohort sizes, partially discrepant outcomes, missing data, and incomplete risk assessment limit these findings. Methods: Electronic health records (EHR)s of 64,801 patients (59.44% females) with PN and an equal sized propensity-matched control group were retrieved. In these cohorts, the risks to develop cardiac and vascular diseases and mortality following the diagnosis of PN were determined. Sub-analyses included stratification for sex, ethnicity, and treatments. Findings: PN was associated with a higher risk for a broad range of acute cardiac events including heart failure and myocardial infarction. For example, the hazard ratio of myocardial infarction was 1.11 (95%-CI: 1.041–1.184, p = 0.0015) following PN diagnosis. Also, all-cause mortality was higher in patients with PN. Further, chronic vascular as well as structural heart diseases, e.g., peripheral arterial disease, chronic ischaemic heart disease and valval disorders were found more frequently following a PN diagnosis. Risks were more pronounced in white and female patients. Having established an increased risk for death and cardiovascular disease, we next addressed if dupilumab that has been recently licenced for use in this indication can modulate these risks. The risk of death but not of any cardiovascular disease was slightly reduced in patients with PN treated with dupilumab as opposed to those treated with systemic therapies other than dupilumab. The study is limited by retrospective data collection and reliance on ICD10-disease classification. Interpretation: PN is associated with higher mortality and an increased risk for the development of a wide range of cardiac and vascular diseases. Health care professionals should take this into account when managing patients with PN. Funding: This work was supported by the University of Lübeck, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the State of Schleswig-Holstein.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105123
StatePublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s)


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Mortality
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Prurigo nodularis
  • Stroke
  • TriNetX


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased cardiovascular risks and mortality in prurigo nodularis: a global cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this