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Severe Psoriasis Found to Increase Your Risk of a Heart Attack

Posted Jan 05 2010 9:24am

By futurederm Tuesday January 5, 2010

Psoriasis, a disease of the skin characterized by thick, white, silvery, or red patches of skin, has been linked to doubled risk of heart attacks.  In the study, published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA),  researchers who studied medical records for more than 680,000 British patients found that people in their 40s with severe psoriasis were more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack (myocardial infarction) than people without the skin disease.

However, not all psoriasis patients should be alarmed.  Study co-author Dr. Joel Gelfand of the University of Pennsylvania said people with  “mild psoriasis on their elbows and knees” need not worry.

“I don’t want to overly alarm people,” Gelfand said. “If you have psoriasis, you should see a physician and go through a screening to make sure you don’t have other cardiovascular risk factors.”  The information is particularly relevant for those in their 30’s and 40’s, for whom the relative risk was increased most significantly with severe psoriasis.  The skin disease posed less of an increased risk for older patients, with risk near baseline for patients in their 70’s.

Psoriasis has also been found in studies to be aided by weight loss, the prescription drug Humira, and to varying degrees with over-the-counter products like Exederm and Theraplex.

Of course, the best remedy for psoriasis or any other skin ailment is to visit a dermatologist for personal care.  To find a dermatologist in your area who specializes in psoriasis, the National Psoriasis Foundation physician directory is available here.

Photo source:  heart attack anatomy
Originally uploaded by gandhiji40

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