Comparing coronary artery calcium scores in patients with psoriasis, diabetes

August 24, 2016

Assessing coronary artery calcium (CAC) is a measure of the severity of atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and a cornerstone for screening for risk of future cardiac events. The inflammatory skin condition psoriasis has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Type 2 diabetes is a high-risk disease associated with increased cardiovascular risk.

So how does the severity of asymptomatic coronary atherosclerosis as measured by CAC scores compare in patients with moderate to , those with diabetes or in healthy controls?

Nehal N. Mehta, M.D., M.S.C.E., of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., and coauthors analyzed data from three studies with a total of 387 individuals in a new article published online by JAMA Dermatology.

Among their findings, the authors report the prevalence of moderate to severe coronary calcification was similar between patients with psoriasis and type 2 diabetes and about five times higher than in healthy control patients.

The study notes its limitations, including a lack of biological data that limit researchers' ability to draw a cause and effect relationship between atherosclerosis and psoriasis.

"These findings warrant early assessment and aggressive risk factor modification in those with moderate to severe psoriasis," the study concludes.

Explore further: Uncontrolled hypertension highest among patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis

More information: JAMA Dermatology. Published online August 24, 2016. DOI: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.2907

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