Updated 06 August 2014

Psoriasis increases risk for heart failure

People with psoriasis are more prone to develop heart failure, and the risk of heart failure rises as the psoriasis gets more severe.


People with the skin disorder psoriasis might be at higher risk for heart failure and should be screened for heart disease, experts say.

Researchers looked at medical data on all adults in Denmark. They found that people with psoriasis are more prone to develop heart failure and that the risk of heart failure rises as psoriasis gets more severe.

"Our findings underline the importance of regular evaluation and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in patients with psoriasis," said study lead author Dr Usman Khalid. Chronic inflammation, a component of both heart failure and psoriasis,  may be the link between the two, he added.,

Psoriasis affects 125 million people worldwide. It is a lifelong disorder that causes red, scaly patches on the skin.

"Psoriasis should be considered a systemic inflammatory disease that affects the whole body, rather than an isolated skin lesion," Khalid explained. "Clinicians should consider early screening and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in patients with psoriasis,  such as obesity, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle, in order to reduce the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease and death."

Educating patients with psoriasis about the association between their skin condition and heart disease is key to encouraging them to adopt heart healthy behaviours, Khalid added.

The study was presented at a recent European Society of Cardiology meeting in Amsterdam. Findings presented at meetings typically are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Although the research found an association between psoriasis and increased risk for heart failure, it did not necessarily prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about psoriasis.

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Skin expert

Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules