Psoriasis affects up to 3% of the adult population, with men and women seeming to have similar risk,  and it is strongly associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and progression of atherosclerosis. 
What is Cardiovascular Disease?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an umbrella term that includes heart disease and vascular disease. Amy Friedrich-Karnik, Vice President of Advocacy and Communications at WomenHeart, explains further: “Heart disease is a term used to describe a range of conditions that affect a person’s heart. It includes issues with clogged blood vessels that could lead to a heart attack, problems with heart rhythm or heart valves, or conditions of the heart muscle like heart failure,” she says. “There are 60 million women in the U.S. with heart disease; that number drops to 12 million if you exclude hypertension, i.e. high blood pressure.” Cardiovascular disease is considered to be a comorbidity of psoriasis.
Shared Risk Factors
It is well understood that risk factors of psoriasis can include (but are not limited to) lifestyle, skin injuries, as well as intrinsic factors such as genetics . Interestingly, heart disease and psoriasis share some risk factors, such as genetics and lifestyle. “Family history is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease, while blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels all have a big impact on your heart health. Conditions such as diabetes and having experienced certain pregnancy complications can also be risk factors for heart disease,” says C. It is recognized that the chronic inflammation seen in patients with psoriasis is associated with a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors that make up the metabolic syndrome: obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. Furthermore, research has demonstrated that patients with psoriasis and metabolic syndrome had higher levels of systemic inflammation, prevalence of CVD risk factors and coronary plaque burden.