The International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) commends the World Health Organization (WHO) for raising awareness of the risks associated with high blood pressure and calls for health care professionals to regularly scan for the condition in patients with psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a serious, inflammatory, noncommunicable disease, affecting more than 125 million people all over the world. People with psoriasis are known to carry an increased risk of developing severe co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and psoriatic arthritis, as well as depression and even suicidal ideation. A number of studies also show that psoriasis is associated with greater prevalence of hypertension, one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
“Health care professionals need to recognize the elevated risk that people with psoriasis carry for developing high blood pressure, and include regular tests for hypertension and other known risk factors of cardiovascular disease for this patient group”, says Lars Ettarp, president of IFPA. “There are studies indicating that treating psoriasis early and efficiently lowers the risk for co-morbid conditions, such as high blood pressure, and this needs to be taken into account when developing a treatment regimen for an individual with psoriasis.”
This year’s World Health Day focused on the global health crisis of high blood pressure and how it can be prevented, treated and controlled. According to the WHO, complications of high blood pressure account for more than 9 million deaths worldwide per year and affects more than one in three adults. High blood pressure has been connected to a number of behavioral risk factors, such as high salt intake, excessive use of alcohol and physical inactivity.
However, it must also be acknowledged that there are other markers for hypertension and cardiovascular disease, namely genetic conditions and inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis; conditions that cannot be prevented, but in most cases can, and need to, be treated in order to minimize the risks of further complications.
The International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) is the non-profit umbrella organization for the majority of psoriasis associations from around the world. Today IFPA has 51 member associations covering all regions of the world. IFPA unites psoriasis associations so that their global campaign for improved medical care, greater public understanding and increased research will improve the lives of the more than 125 million people who live with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis. IFPA is actively campaigning for recognition of psoriasis as a serious, noncommunicable disease by the World Health Organization’s member states.