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Psoriasis raises risk for heart attack

by Medindia Content Team on October 11, 2006 at 4:14 PM
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Psoriasis raises risk for heart attack

According to a recent study, people with psoriasis are at higher risk for heart attack, particularly, younger adults with severe problem causing red, scaly patches on the skin.

The study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, revealed that the association between psoriasis and heart attack appeared to be linked to inflammation. In both the cases, there is an increase in the levels of C-reactive protein in the blood, which is associated with inflammation.

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The results of the comparative study of over 1,30,000 adults with psoriasis and over 5,00,000 adults without this condition, revealed that a 30-year-old with a severe form has 3 times higher risk for heart attack than a person without the condition.

In the study, ruling out other causes of heart problem, 29% higher risk is observed in a 30-year-old with mild form of psoriasis, whereas, 36% higher risk in a 60-year-old man with severe form.
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"The magnitude of association between severe psoriasis and (heart attack) in those patients younger than 50 years is similar to the magnitude of association for other major cardiac risk factors," such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, wrote study author Dr Joel Gelfand in this week's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Emotional stress or skin damage can cause psoriasis, which affects about 3% of adults. According to many scientists, an overactive immune system is responsible for this condition that accelerates the skin cell growth cycle, causing the skin cells to shed too rapidly and form visible, red plaques.

Some patients develop a type of arthritis causing stiffness and swelling in the joints. Psoriasis can be treated with medication and exposure to light.

Gelfand said, "Further research can pinpoint the role played by C-reactive protein or other biomarkers."

"In the meantime, as part of good medical care, patients with psoriasis should be encouraged to aggressively address their modifiable cardiovascular risk factors," he wrote.

Source: Medindia
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