Heart Risk Factors Prevalent in Psoriasis Patient

doctor walking with older woman

Psoriasis sufferers have an increased frequency of a variety of cardiovascular
risk factors including diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood
cholesterol levels, and smoking, results of a study confirm.

In particular, the
current results suggest that psoriasis is associated with key components of the
metabolic syndrome — a clustering of heart risk factors — and that this
association is stronger in cases of severe psoriasis.

This finding is
important, say the investigators, given that individuals with as few as one or
two metabolic syndrome risk factors are at heightened risk for death due to
cardiovascular disease.

“Our other studies
suggest that, independent of other risk factors, severe psoriasis itself may be
a risk factor for heart attack,” Dr. Joel M. Gelfand from the University of
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia told Reuters Health. “Therefore, patients with
psoriasis should be screened for cardiovascular risk factors, and if these risk
factors are present, they should be managed appropriately.”

Gelfand and
colleagues identified 127,706 patients with mild psoriasis and 3,854 with severe
psoriasis. Each psoriasis patient was matched to up to five psoriasis-free
control subjects.