It’s been well known for years that psoriasis patients tend to have a greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease and other related illnesses.
And psoriasis isn’t the only condition that is associated with a greater risk of developing cerebrovasular, heart and peripheral artery diseases. In fact, several other inflammatory diseases increase a person’s risk as well, including colitis, lupus, gum disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Since these conditions affect millions and millions of people throughout the U.S. and around the world, the importance of understanding that connection is huge. So it was major news in the medical research field when a recent study not only proved the connection between psoriasis and cardiovascular disease, but explained it.
While medical professionals, researchers and psoriasis patients have known about the connection between the diseases for years, no one has understood the reason for that connection until now.
In a study performed at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and published in the “Journal of Investigative Dermatology,” researchers began by creating a psoriasis-like condition in laboratory mice. The lab animals developed many of the same psoriasis symptoms that human patients deal with, including scaly patches on the skin, inflammation, and lesions.
Researchers then measured blood clot formation in the mice with the psoriasis-like condition and compared it to blood clot formation in normal mice. They found that the time involved in blood clot formation in the diseased mice was significantly reduced. A reduced amount of time involved in vessel blockage is a warning sign in humans that they may be susceptible to blood vessel blockage that can result in heart attack or stroke. The afflicted lab animals also developed inflammation of the blood vessel walls, which is similar to plaques or atherosclerotic lesions in humans. Researchers determined that chronic inflammation of the skin in lab mice also led to inflammation in large arteries.
While that information is extremely valuable, the other result of the study is even more impressive and important to psoriasis sufferers and the medical professionals who treat them. Researchers also discovered that when the skin disease of the affected mice was reversed, the cardiovascular inflammation and blood clot formation decreased as well. This is a strong indication that if we aggressively treat psoriasis symptoms in humans, it will very likely reduce their chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
So what does all this mean for psoriasis patients?
Very simply this: Do everything within your power to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Don’t smoke, make sure your cholesterol is in a healthy range, keep your blood pressure under control, and remain at a healthy weight for your height and age. But now, after reviewing the results of the Case Western Study, there’s one more important item to add to the list: Make sure your psoriasis is under control. Talk to your doctor about this study, and ask him or her if your current treatment is as effective as it could be or if there’s something else that might better handle the disease.
There’s an impressive amount of medical research currently being done to help us understand psoriasis and conditions that often go along with it, and that’s wonderful news for psoriasis patients everywhere. The more you know, the more effectively you can work with your physician to treat the illness and live your life to the fullest.
Roxanne Jones is a writer for Laser Studio, an Austin TX medical spa run by renowned Dr. Sarosh Saleemi who provides services such as hCG injections, botox, and laser hair removal. To learn more contact Laser Studio, 11111 Research Boulevard #370B, Austin, TX 78759, Phone: (512) 337-2466.