Psoriasis Patients with Family History of Cardiovascular Problems Need to Be Cautious

A family history of heart attacks increases psoriasis patients’ odds of having heart attacks and strokes.

A family history of heart attacks increases psoriasis patients’ odds of having heart attacks and strokes.

According to Alexander Egeberg, MD, University of Copenhagen, “It is generally believed that patients wit psoriasis are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease due to the inflammatory nature of psoriasis. While psoriasis itself may still confer an independent cardiovascular risk compared with the general population, our findings suggest that there may exist a genetic predisposition for cardiovascular disease.”

To investigate the risk of first-time major adverse cardiovascular (CV) events (MACE) in patients with psoriasis or without a family history of CVD, researchers identified 2,722, 375 individuals — including 25,774 and 4,504 patients with mild and severe psoriasis.

Results were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The team found that nearly two-thirds of psoriasis patients had a family history of cardiovascular disease, which was slightly more prevalent with severe psoriasis than with mild psoriasis.

When family history of cardiovascular health problems were reported, the incidence rats of heart attacks were approximately 18 per 10,000 people per year for the general population, 36 per 10,000 for mild psoriasis, and 45 per 10,000 for severe psoriasis patients.

Despite the clear limitation of the study excluding more than 2.6 million people whose family data was reported as incomplete, the findings still suggest physicians should be make it a priority to ask psoriasis patients about their family histories.