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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2008 October;143(5):307-13

language: English

Cardiovascular morbidity in psoriasis: epidemiology, pathomechanisms, and clinical consequences

Boehncke W.-H. 1, Boehncke S. 2

1 Department of Dermatology Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2 Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department of Internal Medicine Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany


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Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin condition. Around 25% of patients develop joint involvement in the form of psoriatic arthritis as well. Recent epidemiologic studies demonstrated an increased cardiovascular morbidity among psoriasis patients. Although the association of psoriasis with cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, and heart failure, is now widely accepted, the pathogenetic link remains yet unclear. High prevalence of the metabolic syndrome as well as adverse effects of systemic anti-psoriatic therapies may contribute to the observed association. Several pilot studies suggest that insulin resistance may contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases in psoriasis patients who exhibit metabolic parameters like patients developing diabetes. Retrospective data provide evidence that continuous systemic therapy may reduce the risk of cardiovascular mortality in psoriasis patients. The consequences for the management of psoriasis at this point are two-fold: as co-morbidity goes along with co-medication, potential drug interactions need to be kept in mind when choosing a systemic anti-psoriatic therapy. Moreover, as psoriasis itself is a risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity, patients must avoid other known risk factors such as obesity or smoking. Dermatologists need to communicate this additional risk to their patients and support them accordingly.

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