06/12/2009 - News

Evidence of psoriasis and heart disease link is revealed

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Study shows that people with psoriasis are at increased risk of developing heart disease.

Psoriasis is a skin disorder marked by patches of thick red skin covered in silvery scales. It can be painful and the cause of much emotional distress. The underlying cause is autoimmunity where, put simply, the immune system attacks the body itself, without the presence of any outside threat.

Other autoimmune diseases, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, have been linked to an increased risk of heart problems, maybe because of the accompanying inflammation. Now doctors at the Mayo Clinic show how people with psoriasis experienced heart attacks more than twice as often as people of the same gender and age in a control group. They were also about 1.4 times more likely to develop heart failure.

The researchers say that these findings suggest that psoriasis is more than just a skin disorder. Understanding the autoimmune link to heart disease may lead to greater understanding of the role played by inflammation. Meanwhile, people with psoriasis will need to monitor their heart disease risk from an early age.

American College of Rheumatology meeting 14th November 2006

Created on: 11/14/2006
Reviewed on: 06/12/2009

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