Heart Disease Affects People with Psoriasis

Reviewed: May 09, 2013
By eHealthIQ

According to a recent U.S. study, people who suffer from psoriasis are at a higher risk for developing heart disease. The study also found that the risk factor increased in people who had been living with the disease for a long time.Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects over 7 million Americans. It is characterized by thick, red lesions that appear on the skin and may cover large areas of the body. Researchers believe that the lesions are caused by a malfunctioning immune system that attacks the body’s own cells by mistake. Additionally, they now believe that psoriasis may affect other parts of the body, and the skin lesions may also be a sign of internal inflammation. Previous studies have noted a link between heart disease and other autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.The study was conducted by researchers from the University of California, Davis and included almost 9,500 patients. Researchers reviewed the patients’ most recent heart scans and found that approximately 200 of the people also had psoriasis. They also found that 84 percent of the psoriasis sufferers had coronary heart disease, and these patients were also more likely to be overweight and have high cholesterol. Only 74 percent of the patients without psoriasis showed any signs of heart disease.[via Reuters]

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