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Psoriasis is associated with impaired HDL function, Penn study finds
Date:11/16/2011

Orlando - Collaborative research from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has shown that psoriasis patients have an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death, especially if the psoriasis is moderate to severe. Now, Penn researchers have discovered the potential underlying mechanism by which the inflammatory skin disease impacts cardiovascular health. In two new studies presented at the 2011 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Penn researchers show that the systemic inflammatory impact of psoriasis may alter both the makeup of cholesterol particles and numbers, as well as impair the function of high density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good" cholesterol.

"Anecdotally, many researchers have observed that HDL levels may be lower in states of inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and even obesity," said lead study author Nehal Mehta, MD, MSCE, director of Inflammatory Risk in Preventive Cardiology at Penn. "However, these new findings suggest that in addition to lower levels, chronic inflammation associated with conditions like psoriasis may change the composition and decrease the function of HDL as well."

In the current studies, researchers enrolled 78 patients with psoriasis and 84 control subjects. In the first study, the authors measured fasting lipid levels and examined the number and size of cholesterol particles using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. This analysis revealed that patients with psoriasis had a higher number of smaller LDL particles, or "bad" cholesterol, which was independent of traditional risk factors and obesity. "It was striking that the NMR profiles from patients with psoriasis resembled those seen in patients with diabetes, and that these patients with psoriasis had otherwise normal traditional lipid panels" Dr. Mehta added.

In the second study, the researchers measured HDL efflux, which is the ability of a patient's HDL t
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Contact: Jessica Mikulski
jessica.mikulski@uphs.upenn.edu
215-796-4829
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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