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Psoriasis linked to heart risks

Archives of Dermatology,
December 2010

Psoriasis linked to heart risks

People with psoriasis are at a higher risk for a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors known as metabolic syndrome.

The features that make up metabolic syndrome include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and high total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Psoriasis is a common skin problem caused by a problem with the immune system. Past studies have suggested a link between psoriasis and individual components of the metabolic syndrome but there is little data available regarding the association between psoriasis and the metabolic syndrome as a whole.

In the study, researchers analysed data from 6,549 people, average age 39 years, in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that 40 percent of people with psoriasis had features of metabolic syndrome, compared with 23 percent of people without psoriasis. The most common features of metabolic syndrome among people with psoriasis were abdominal obesity (63 percent); high triglyceride levels (44 percent); and low levels of "good" high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (34 percent). It was found that only 13 percent of people with psoriasis had no features of metabolic syndrome, compared with 28 percent of those without psoriasis.

The findings show a doubling in the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among patients with psoriasis independent of age, sex, race/ethnicity and C-reactive protein levels and need to be taken into account when treating individuals with psoriasis.

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