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Psoriasis Clients Must Be Aware of Potential Link to Other Diseases

Posted: March 19, 2012

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Cardiovascular disease concerns. One study found patients with severe psoriasis may die about five years younger than patients who do not have the disease, and 50% of this excess mortality is due to cardiovascular disease. More studies have linked more severe cases of psoriasis to higher rates of major cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks.

Tips for clients with psoriasis

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet.
  • Lead an active lifestyle.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Maintain an ideal body weight.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Get routine screenings for cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.

Academy expert advice

“Future research is necessary to better determine how skin disease severity affects the risk of developing insulin resistance, obesity, abnormal cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease, and whether successful treatment of psoriasis alters these risks,” says Gelfand.

Future research

A rigorous multicenter clinical trial, funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, is planned to determine if treatment of psoriasis improves arterial inflammation, cholesterol function and metabolic disease – a critical step necessary to evaluate whether successfully controlling psoriasis will lead to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.


According to published research on psoriasis:

  • Psoriasis is a common disease that affects more than 7 million Americans, yet as many as 3 million of these have active psoriasis but have never been diagnosed with the condition by a health care professional.
  • Although psoriasis can begin at any age, it typically starts in the 20s and 30s.
  • Approximately 20% of patients have such severe psoriasis that topical creams and ointments alone are not enough to control the disease.
  • Approximately 40% of patients with psoriasis have a family history of the disease.
  • Psoriatic arthritis occurs in about 10% of psoriasis patients and in as many as 30-40% of patients with extensive, severe skin disease.

For more information

To learn more about psoriasis, visit the Academy’s Dermatology A to Z section and PsoriasisNet.