Cardiovascular risk up with metabolic syndrome in psoriasis

Metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) is prevalent among patients with psoriasis and is associated with increased cardiovascular risk, according to a study published online Dec. 28 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Meron Teklu, from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues examined the impact of MetSyn and its components on early coronary artery disease assessed as noncalcified coronary burden (NCB) in psoriasis. Data were included for 260 patients with psoriasis and coronary computed tomography angiography results.

Thirty-one percent of the participants had MetSyn. The researchers found that the burden of cardiometabolic disease, systemic inflammation, NCB, and high-risk plaque was higher in the MetSyn group. MetSyn and its individual components of elevated waist circumference, triglycerides, blood pressure, and fasting glucose were associated with NCB after adjustment for Framingham risk score, lipid-lowering therapy, and biologic use. Blood pressure and waist circumference remained significantly associated with NCB after adjustment for all other MetSyn factors.

“Metabolic syndrome, so common among our psoriasis patients, drives up coronary artery disease in this population by increasing the plaque buildup that clogs the heart’s arteries,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Our study shows that, of the MetSyn components, hypertension and obesity contribute the most to coronary plaque buildup, and hence can be good targets for intervention.”