NEW ORLEANS - Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disease, and if severe, has been demonstrated to be a risk factor for cardiovascular (CV) disease. However, the degree to which psoriasis is associated with major adverse cardiac events (MACE), such as heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death has not been defined. Now, new research from the Perelman School of Medicine has revealed an increased incidence of MACE in patients with severe psoriasis.
In a cohort study analyzing data from a general practice research database, Penn researchers reviewed the case histories of over 3,600 patients with severe psoriasis and 14,300 controls. Lead author Nehal N. Mehta, MD, MSCE, Director of Inflammatory Risk in Penn's Preventive Cardiology program, and colleagues found that patients with severe psoriasis have a 53 percent increased incidence of MACE compared to the general population. They also found that having a diagnosed case of severe psoriasis confers an additional ten-year risk of 6 percent on MACE. The study results were reported at the 2011 American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans.
Previous work from Dr. Mehta and senior author Joel M. Gelfand, MD, MSCE, from the Department of Dermatology at Penn found that the risk of death from cardiovascular disease increased by 57 percent in patients with severe psoriasis. In addition, the relative risk of death from cardiovascular disease was even higher in younger patients, who were as young as age 40.
Dr. Mehta and colleagues conclude that this new estimate of increased ten-year MACE may warrant more aggressive strategies for treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in patients with psoriasis.
Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 16 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $398 million awarded in the 2012 fiscal year.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Penn Medicine also includes additional patient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2012, Penn Medicine provided $827 million to benefit our community.