Patients who have psoriasis may be at an increased risk for metabolic syndrome (MetSyn), leading to a higher cardiovascular risk. This new information comes from a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
For the study, researchers from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues examined the impact of metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) and its relationship with early coronary artery disease, assessed as noncalcified coronary burden (NCB) in those with psoriasis. Data were analyzed from 260 patients with psoriasis and coronary computed tomography angiography results.
A total of thirty-one percent of the participants had MetSyn. It was found that the burden of cardiometabolic disease, NCB, systemic inflammation, and high-risk plaque was higher in the MetSyn group. In participants with metabolic syndrome, elevated waist circumference, triglycerides, blood pressure, and fasting glucose were associated with NCB. 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.”
What is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors. It’s a severe health condition that affects about 23 percent of adults and places them at higher risk of cardiovascular risk, diabetes, stroke, and diseases related to fatty buildups in artery walls.
It has been previously shown that when a patient presents with these conditions together, the chances for future cardiovascular disease is more significant than any single factor presenting alone. The underlying causes of metabolic syndrome include obesity, physical inactivity, genetic factors, and getting older.
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease that speeds up the growth cycle of the skin cells and is strongly associated with the metabolic syndrome’s clinical features (MetS). This autoimmune disease is characterized by raised abnormal skin areas, which are typically red or purple on some people with darker skin, dry, itchy, and scaly. Psoriasis varies in severity from small, localized patches to complete body coverage.
Some simple lifestyle changes are crucial in helping reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome. The best place to start is with a change in diet. A plant-based diet with small amounts of meat can provide high amounts of fiber and anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory phytochemicals.
Exercise and is also another great way to keep MetS away. Start by slowly adding some easy, enjoyable activities that can lower blood pressure and weight loss. With these simple changes, the risk of metabolic syndrome can be reduced.