Patients with severe psoriasis need evaluation of heart disease risk

December 18, 2008

New York, 18 December 2008 - According to new recommendations in the December 10 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology (AJC) (www.ajconline.org), published by Elsevier, new research is called for and patients with severe forms of the skin disease psoriasis should receive evaluation and possible treatment to reduce their risk of coronary artery disease (CAD).

Psoriasis is a common skin disease affecting two to three percent of the world population, including 7.5 million Americans. The most common type of psoriasis causes a scaly rash that can cover large areas of the skin; some patients develop arthritis as well. In addition, there is now strong evidence that people with psoriasis are at increased risk of CAD--narrowing of the arteries supplying the heart, which can lead to heart attack (myocardial infarction) and other complications.

A special "Editor's Consensus" article provides an update on the little-recognized link between psoriasis and heart disease. "This AJC Editor's Consensus focuses on a large new area of evidence strengthening the connection between inflammatory processes and coronary artery disease," comments cardiologist and lead author of the article, Vincent E. Friedewald, M.D., of the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Friedewald is also an Assistant Editor of AJC. "It is a particularly interesting and unique document in that it bridges current knowledge from two medical disciplines--dermatology and cardiology--that rarely interrelate."

"This consensus statement, issued by an expert panel of cardiologists, dermatologists, and scientists, calls for a new standard of care for patients with moderate to severe psoriasis," comments University of Pennsylvania dermatologist Joel M. Gelfand, M.D. "Based on the evolving science, we recommend that patients with moderate to severe psoriasis be educated about the association of psoriasis and cardiovascular disease and that these patients receive appropriate screening and treatment of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors."

The explanation for the link between psoriasis and CAD risk is not yet clear, but a leading candidate is inflammation. Regardless of the cause, the expert panel believes that the current evidence is strong enough to recommend that doctors assess CAD risk in their patients with psoriasis. Key recommendations in the consensus statement include:
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About The American Journal of Cardiology

Published 24 times a year, The American Journal of Cardiology® (http://www.ajconline.org) is an independent journal designed for cardiovascular disease specialists and internists with a subspecialty in cardiology throughout the world. AJC is an independent, scientific, peer-reviewed journal of original articles that focus on the practical, clinical approach to the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. AJC has one of the fastest acceptance to publication times in Cardiology. Features report on systemic hypertension, methodology, drugs, pacing, arrhythmia, preventive cardiology, congestive heart failure, valvular heart disease, congenital heart disease, and cardiomyopathy. Also included are editorials, readers' comments, and symposia.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier's 7,000 employees in over 70 offices worldwide publish more than 2,000 journals and 1,900 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of innovative electronic products, such as ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com/), MD Consult (http://www.mdconsult.com/), Scopus (http://www.info.scopus.com/), bibliographic databases, and online reference works.

Elsevier (http://www.elsevier.com/) is a global business headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has offices worldwide. Elsevier is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc (http://www.reedelsevier.com/), a world-leading publisher and information provider. Operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high-quality and flexible information solutions to users, with increasing emphasis on the Internet as a means of delivery. Reed Elsevier's ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

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