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Heart risk factors in psoriasis patients

Psoriasis sufferers have an increased frequency of a variety of cardiovascular risk factors including diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and smoking.

Heart risk factors in psoriasis patients

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. 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 is important given that individuals with as few as one or two metabolic syndrome risk factors are at heightened risk for death due to cardiovascular disease. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 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 percent of patients with severe psoriasis and in 4 percent of those with mild psoriasis compared with just 3 percent of controls. High blood pressure was present in 20 percent of patients with severe psoriasis, 15 percent of those with mild psoriasis and 12 percent of controls. Elevated cholesterol or hyperlipidemia was documented in 6 percent, 5 percent, and 3 percent, respectively. Nearly 21 percent of individuals with severe psoriasis and 16 percent of those with mild psoriasis were obese compared with roughly 13 percent of controls. Thirty-one percent of those with severe psoriasis were smokers compared with 28 percent of those with mild psoriasis and 21 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 screened for cardiovascular risk factors, and if these risk factors are present, they should be managed appropriately.
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology,
November 2006
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