Risk factors for heart disease are common among patients with psoriasis

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A number of studies have found risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) – including diabetes – to be more common among patients with psoriasis. This study from Boston, USA, estimated the cumulative incidence of CVD (heart attack and stroke) risk factors following a first recorded diagnosis of psoriasis in large General Practice Research Database. In all 44,164 patients with psoriasis were compared with 219,784 non-psoriatic subjects matched for age and gender. Compared with non-psoriatic controls, patients with psoriasis had a significantly higher risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and raised cholesterol levels. Patients with psoriasis also had a higher risk of developing angina, or suffering a heart attack or stroke. Read psoriasis and the heart.

Comment: This study adds to the growing body of scientific evidence which suggests that psoriasis is not simply a disease entity in isolation. Rather it is an expression of highly complex underlying process which involves inflammation throughout many organs of the body. The study should again alert doctors and other who care for patients with psoriasis to screen for co-existent CVD risk factors and treat them aggressively.

Reference: Kaye JA, Li L, Jick SS. Incidence of risk factors for myocardial infarction and other vascular diseases in patients with psoriasis. Br J Dermatol. 2008; 159:895-902

Article prepared by:
Dr David Ashton MD PhD
27 April 2009