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European Society of Cardiology

Clinical Articles, Lead Article

Psoriasis patients should be screened for CVD

Patients with psoriasis should undergo regular evaluation and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors, according to new research1 presented at ESC Congress 2013.

The researchers found that patients with psoriasis have a higher risk of developing heart failure than the general population. Risk of heart failure rose as the severity of psoriasis increased.

Lead author, Dr Usman Khalid from Denmark, said: “Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease with a worldwide prevalence between 2–4%. Heart failure is also a major global health burden. We investigated the risk of heart failure in patients with psoriasis in the entire adult population in Denmark.”

“Our findings underline the importance of regular evaluation and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in patients with psoriasis. Chronic inflammation is a characteristic feature of both psoriasis and heart failure, and may play a significant role in their development and progression,” he added.

“Psoriasis should be considered a systemic inflammatory disease that affects the whole body, rather than an isolated skin lesion. Clinicians should consider early screening and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in patients with psoriasis such as obesity, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle in order to reduce the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease and death. Patients with psoriasis need education about the association between their skin condition and cardiovascular disease so that they can adopt heart healthy behaviours,” Dr Khalid concluded.

ESC spokesperson Professor Aldo Maggioni said: “It’s important that doctors check to see if their patients with psoriasis also have cardiovascular disease because the two conditions share similar risk factors. Patients with psoriasis need to be aware that their risk factor profile puts them in danger of getting cardiovascular disease and they should improve their lifestyles to avoid getting heart disease.”


1. ESC Congress 2013 abstract P2740: Psoriasis is associated with increased risk of new-onset heart failure: a nationwide cohort study

Published on: November 20, 2013

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