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Psoriasis Linked to Raised Heart Risks

MONDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- People with psoriasis are at increased risk for a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors known as metabolic syndrome, a new study has found.

The features that make up metabolic syndrome include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and high total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, according to background information in the study. Psoriasis is a common skin problem caused by a problem with the immune system.

In the study, researchers analyzed data from 6,549 people, average age 39, in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that 40 percent of people with psoriasis had features of metabolic syndrome, compared with 23 percent of people without psoriasis.

The most common features of metabolic syndrome among people with psoriasis were: abdominal obesity (63 percent); high triglyceride levels (44 percent); and low levels of "good" high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (34 percent).

Only 13 percent of people with psoriasis had no features of metabolic syndrome, compared with 28 percent of those without psoriasis, the investigators found.

"In conclusion, these findings from a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults show a doubling in the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among patients with psoriasis independent of age, sex, race/ethnicity and C-reactive protein levels," wrote Dr. Thorvardur Jon Love, of Landspitali University Hospital in Iceland, and colleagues.

"Given its associated serious complications, this comorbidity needs to be recognized and taken into account when treating individuals with psoriasis," they concluded.

The findings are published in the Dec. 20 online edition and will appear in the April 2011 print issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about psoriasis.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Dec. 20, 2010

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