Linking psoriasis inflammation and treatment with risk for cardiovascular disease
Epidemiologic evidence suggested that psoriasis, an inflammatory skin disease, shortens life-span by increasing risk for premature coronary artery disease. However, the mechanisms underpinning this relationship and whether it is amenable to therapy were unknown.
IRP researchers led by Nehal N. Mehta, M.D., explored whether the extent of psoriatic skin disease was linked to accompanying vascular inflammation and whether the treatment of psoriasis-induced skin inflammation, or dermatitis, could reduce vascular inflammation. Dr. Mehta’s group found a very strong link between the extent of dermatitis and the degree of vascular inflammation. The team also showed that psoriatic dermatitis gives rise to premature plaque in coronary arteries. Finally, in a series of preliminary studies, treating psoriatic dermatitis reduced vascular inflammation.
These findings have begun to delineate the mechanisms by which vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis develop in patients with psoriasis. Furthermore, this work suggests that controlling psoriatic dermatitis may be an important cardiac risk reduction strategy.
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