Researchers funded by NHLBI have found that anti-inflammatory biologic therapies used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis can significantly reduce coronary inflammation in patients with the chronic skin condition. The findings, published online in JAMA Cardiology, are particularly notable because of the use of a novel imaging biomarker, the perivascular fat attenuation index (FAI), that was able to measure the effect of the therapy in reducing the inflammation.
Psoriasis and other chronic inflammatory diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are known to increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes.
"Coronary inflammation offers important clues about the risk of developing heart artery disease," said study’s senior author Nehal N. Mehta, M.D., a cardiologist and head of the Lab of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases at NHLBI. "Our findings add to the growing body of research that shows treating underlying inflammatory conditions may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases."