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The Safety and Risks of UsingTNF-α Antagonists to Treat Psoriasis

Janine E Polifka, PhD1, and Lawrence H Brent, MD2

Psoriasis is a chronic, immune-mediated, hyperproliferative disease of the skin that affects an estimated 5 million people between the ages of 20 years and 59 years in the US [1]. The prevalence of psoriasis worldwide is 1–3%, and approximately 30% of patients have an associated inflammatory arthritis, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) [2–5]. PsA is chronic and progressive, and often requires intensive therapy for prolonged periods of time to control the disease [4]. Women are as likely as men to be diagnosed with psoriasis, albeit at an earlier age. Consequently, women with moderate-to-severe psoriasis who are of childbearing age will require ongoing therapy during and around the time of any pregnancies.

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