Psoriasis Further Linked to Cardiovascular Disease, Smoking

Medical researchers know there is a connection between psoriasis and cardiovascular diseases, but a new Iranian study in Clinical, Cosmetic & Investigational Dermatology further verifies lipid abnormalities linked to psoriasis and suggests a serum lipid profile and blood pressure check for all of those patients.

Medical researchers know there is a connection between psoriasis and cardiovascular diseases, but a new Iranian study in Clinical, Cosmetic & Investigational Dermatology further verifies lipid abnormalities linked to psoriasis and suggests a serum lipid profile and blood pressure check for all of those patients.

Psoriasis has been linked to other systemic diseases, including obesity, diabetes mellitus, depression, addiction, and even some types of cancer. Risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been shown in earlier studies to be higher in younger patients with more severe cases of the conditions. Because psoriasis is associated with smoking and alcohol intake, the increase in CVD and mortality among those patients is thought to be compounded by the cumulative effect of traditional risk factors for CVD. However, recent research has shown that severe psoriasis is found to be a significant independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality even after adjusting for traditional CVD risk factors.

The study was a cross-sectional analysis of 55 patients with psoriasis and 55 matched controls. Blood samples were taken following 14 hours fasting status and serum levels of triglyceride, cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, and low-density lipoprotein were determined.

Levels of triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein, and smoking were significantly higher in patients with psoriasis when compared with controls, whereas the level of high-density lipoprotein and cholesterol were not significantly different between two groups. Body mass index of patients with psoriasis was not significantly higher than controls. Patients with psoriasis also had an increased prevalence of hypertension. Alcohol consumption was observed in nine patients with psoriasis while no controls were alcohol users.

Smoking increased psoriasis risk nearly twofold. Earlier studies have shown that smoking intensity may influence the risk of psoriasis more than smoking duration. The study authors suggested that epidermal cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and possible cholinergic receptors of nicotine may influence the immune process in the skin of patients with psoriasis.

Limitations of the study include its small sample size. The study authors suggest that further evidence from longitudinal prospective studies would be welcome.