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You may be surprised to learn that having the common skin disease psoriasis may triple your risk of a heart attack if you're under age 50. This finding results from five years of medical data collected on British patients. It appears that both psoriasis and athlerosclerosis are mediated by T-cell (immune) mediated inflammation, so the correlation could result from a shared cause.

(swiped from Mercola at: http://v.mercola.com/blogs/public_blog/Psoriasis-Can-Triple-Your-Heart-Attack-Risks-1142.aspx
Here's the article he was reviewing:
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/296/14/1735

The rest of what Mercola had to say:

A bit surprising, but it's true a 30-year-old patient with psoriasis taking a conventional medication has a 300 percent greater chance of succumbing to a heart attack, while a 60-year-old's risks grew by just 36 percent.

I suspect the incidence of psoriasis has much to do with a lack of daily sunshine exposure that prevents your skin from generating the vitamin D your body vitally needs. And, it makes sense, considering the lack of vitamin D contributes to congestive heart failure too. You'll also want to review Dr. Carolyn Dean's recommendations -- among them boosting your omega-3 fatty acid levels -- to treat psoriasis safely and effectively.


Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Patients With Psoriasis
Joel M. Gelfand, MD, MSCE; Andrea L. Neimann, MD; Daniel B. Shin, BA; Xingmei Wang, MS; David J. Margolis, MD, PhD; Andrea B. Troxel, ScD

JAMA. 2006;296:1735-1741.

ABSTRACT

Context
Psoriasis is the most common T-helper cell type 1 (TH1) immunological disease. Evidence has linked TH1 diseases to myocardial infarction (MI). Psoriasis has been associated with cardiovascular diseases, but has only been investigated in hospital-based studies that did not control for major cardiovascular risk factors.

Objective
To determine if within a population-based cohort psoriasis is an independent risk factor for MI when controlling for major cardiovascular risk factors.

Design, Setting, and Patients
A prospective, population-based cohort study in the United Kingdom of patients with psoriasis aged 20 to 90 years, comparing outcomes among patients with and without a diagnosis of psoriasis. Data were collected by general practitioners as part of the patient's medical record and stored in the General Practice Research Database between 1987 and 2002, with a mean follow-up of 5.4 years. Adjustments were made for hypertension, diabetes, history of myocardial infarction, hyperlipidemia, age, sex, smoking, and body mass index. Patients with psoriasis were classified as severe if they ever received a systemic therapy. Up to 5 controls without psoriasis were randomly selected from the same practices and start dates as the patients with psoriasis. A total of 556 995 control patients and patients with mild (n = 127 139) and severe psoriasis (n = 3837) were identified.

Results
There were 11 194 MIs (2.0%) within the control population and 2319 (1.8%) and 112 (2.9%) MIs within the mild and severe psoriasis groups, respectively. The incidences per 1000 person-years for control patients and patients with mild and severe psoriasis were 3.58 (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.52-3.65), 4.04 (95% CI, 3.88-4.21), and 5.13 (95% CI, 4.22-6.17), respectively. Patients with psoriasis had an increased adjusted relative risk (RR) for MI that varied by age. For example, for a 30-year-old patient with mild or severe psoriasis, the adjusted RR of having an MI is 1.29 (95% CI, 1.14-1.46) and 3.10 (95% CI, 1.98-4.86), respectively. For a 60-year-old patient with mild or severe psoriasis, the adjusted RR of having an MI is 1.08 (95% CI, 1.03-1.13) and 1.36 (95% CI, 1.13-1.64), respectively.

Conclusions
Psoriasis may confer an independent risk of MI. The RR was greatest in young patients with severe psoriasis.

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