Diabetes, Heart, and Cardiovascular Diseases News Chronicle.      Article 280

A Study Shows The Duration Of Psoriasis Can Increase The Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases, Heart Attack And Stroke


A study suggests an increased risk of heart attack and stroke in the people living longer with psoriasis. Psoriasis can cause more systemic inflammation and more damage to the vascular (a network of blood vessels) system. The people with psoriasis are at a higher risk of heart diseases and stroke even if the people with psoriasis do not have other risk factors such as tobacco use, type 2 diabetes (high blood sugar levels) or old age.

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Duration of the psoriasis is directly proportional to the risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attack and stroke.

Researchers have conducted an imaging test on 190 patients of psoriasis. The study shows that the intensity of the inflammation in the blood vessels is directly proportional to the duration of psoriasis in the patient. But the imaging tests did not show an increased risk of heart attack or stroke with the inflammation in the vascular system (a network of blood vessels).

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To find out the association, the researchers have conducted a follow-up study on about 87,000 Danish adults (the average age is 54 years) with psoriasis and another 4.2 million adults without psoriasis.

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The study shows 4,472 or 1.1 percent of adults with psoriasis had a major heart attack or stroke every year compared to 152,122 or 0.8 percent of adults without psoriasis.

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The study also shows one percent increase in the risk of heart attack or stroke due to the inflammation in the blood vessels in the patients of psoriasis.

Researchers hypothesized that a chronic low-grade systemic inflammation (CLGSI) may be increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The inflammation associated with psoriasis is similar to the inflammation process in the body which play a part in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). But the researchers could not factor the influence of obesity and exercise as those data are not available.

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The lead author of the study was Dr. Alexander Egeberg, Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. The study was published on August 18, 2017, in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Title of the article was "The relationship between duration of psoriasis, vascular inflammation, and cardiovascular events."
DOI: doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2017.06.028

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Psoriasis: Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory and lifelong skin disorder due to the formation of scales and itchy, dry patches on the surface of the skin. This disorder may also affect the elbows, knees, scalp, joints, torso, palms, soles of the feet or nails.

The disease affects both sexes, all ages and all races. This skin disorder may also cause pain and swelling in the joints. Psoriasis is associated with psoriatic arthritis. This disease worsens during cold winter months. But psoriasis is not a contagious disease.

Exact reasons for the risk of psoriasis is not known but the immune system, environmental factors and genetic predisposition may be the possible causes. Medical treatment to remove scales and to prevent a faster rate of growth of the skin cells may help but the disease can not be cured completely. This disease comes and goes and comeback. Measures such as no tobacco use, moisturizing the skin and stress management may help.

Individuals affected by psoriasis will face health challenges such as high blood sugar (glucose) levels (diabetes), high blood lipids, obesity (overweight) and heart diseases.


Published on December 12, 2017


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