Researchers are reporting that common therapy options for psoriasis, a chronic an inflammatory skin disease, can reduce plaque levels in the blood vessels of the heart. In this new observational study, the researchers also found that the psoriasis treatments--including so-called biologic therapies that can act on the body’s immune system--are associated with reduced inflammation over time. The findings provide further evidence to treating psoriasis might reduce the risk of heart disease. The researchers presented their findings, supported by funding from the NHLBI, at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) Scientific Sessions 2018.
"To see a reduction in coronary plaque after just one year of biologic therapy alone is incredible and very assuring. It's the first time we're seeing treatment of a skin disease with biologic therapy have an impact specifically on plaque in the coronary," said Nehal N. Mehta, M.D., the Principal Investigator of the study and Chief of the Section of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases at NHLBI, in an SCAI press release. "Our study results further emphasize the importance of patients maintaining and treating psoriasis to decrease the risks of adverse cardiovascular events occurring. This also opens the door for us to look at other disease states and see how anti-inflammatory therapy options could impact coronary plaque over time."