Psoriasis is more than skin deep. Its complete toll is experienced by individuals living with psoriasis and their loved ones.
A growing body of research suggests the chronic inflammation occurring in patients with psoriasis involves not only skin manifestation but the rest of the body as well.  For example, psoriasis is considered an independent risk enhancer for individuals with an intermediate 10-year risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease, according to the 2018 AHA/ACC/AACVPR/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/ADA/AGS/APhA/ASPC/NLA/PCNA Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol.  Likewise, cardiovascular disease is not just heart disease. It refers to a spectrum of conditions including heart disease and heart attack, stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia and heart valve problems.  In 1961, the first connection among psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and cardiovascular disease was found.  Since then, this connection has been the focus of much research and recent advances.
The CV and Psoriasis Link
The link to CV disease in patients who are living with psoriasis and PsA continues to be elucidated.  “Psoriasis clearly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease between 1.5 and twofold. This risk is highest in patients with severe psoriasis and in patients with psoriatic arthritis,” says Daniella Schwartz, M.D., assistant clinical investigator for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“In recent years, the role of low-grade inflammation in the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease has become very clear,” she continues. “About 20 to 30 percent of the risk of a heart attack, or myocardial infarction (generally, not just in psoriasis), is due to residual inflammation.” A recent study of 260 patients with psoriasis (Teklu et al., 2020) found elevated biomarkers of systemic inflammation, C-reactive protein (CRP) and GlycA in the subset of patients with psoriasis and cardiometabolic syndrome (defined as a combination of diabetes, obesity and elevated cholesterol and blood pressure).