Study links metabolic syndrome to higher cardiovascular risk in patients with psoriasis

Psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease, has long been known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke. Now, researchers have identified a key culprit: the presence of metabolic syndrome (MetSyn), a condition that includes obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension, and is highly prevalent among psoriasis patients.

The findings, which could lead to new ways to help prevent cardiovascular disease among people with psoriasis, appear online today in the Journal of the American Association of Dermatology (JAAD). The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

“Metabolic syndrome, so common among our psoriasis patients, drives up coronary artery disease in this population by increasing the plaque buildup that clogs the heart’s arteries,” said Nehal N. Mehta, M.D., MSCE, preventive cardiologist and head of the NHLBI’s Lab of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases. “Our study shows that, of the MetSyn components, hypertension and obesity contribute the most to coronary plaque buildup, and hence can be good targets for intervention.”

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This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022