Heart Risk Factors Prevalent in Psoriasis Patient

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    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.

    Diabetes was present
    in 7.1 percent of patients with severe psoriasis and in 4.4 percent of those
    with mild psoriasis compared with just 3.3 percent of
    controls.

    High blood pressure
    was present in 20 percent of patients with severe psoriasis, 14.7 percent of
    those with mild psoriasis and 11.9 percent of controls. Elevated cholesterol or
    “hyperlipidemia” was documented in 6 percent, 4.7 percent, and 3.3 percent,
    respectively.

    Nearly 20.7 percent
    of individuals with severe psoriasis and 15.8 percent of those with mild
    psoriasis were obese compared with roughly 13.2 percent of controls. Thirty-one
    percent of those with severe psoriasis were smokers compared with 28 percent of
    those with mild psoriasis and 20.7 percent of psoriasis-free
    controls.

    Compared with
    controls, patients with mild psoriasis had higher adjusted odds of diabetes,
    hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and smoking. Patients with severe
    psoriasis had higher adjusted odds of diabetes, obesity, and
    smoking.

    Additionally,
    diabetes and obesity were more prevalent in patients with severe psoriasis than
    in those with mild psoriasis.

    Patients with psoriasis should be encouraged to identify and manage
    their modifiable cardiovascular risk factors, the authors conclude.

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