People with psoriasis have similar levels of increased coronary artery calcium as those with type 2 diabetes, which increases the risk of heart disease, a study reports.
Psoriasis, which affects the skin, is an autoimmune condition characterised by itchy red patches.

Researchers believe that one risk factor shared by psoriasis and type 2 diabetes is chronic inflammation, which can lead to arterial build-up, known as atherosclerosis.
People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to suffer from heart disease than those without the condition, and to experience it at an earlier age.
But eating a diet that includes plenty of vegetables and is based on eating home-prepared food can improve heart health, as can getting regular exercise, such as walking for twenty minutes or more every day.
In this new study, scientists at the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute found that moderate to severe calcium build-up was roughly five times as common in people with psoriasis or type 2 diabetes as it was in people without either condition.
The study team recruited 387 people who were in their 50s, and either had moderate to severe psoriasis but no diabetes; diabetes but no psoriasis; or neither condition.
While half of each group had no significant coronary artery calcium build-up, roughly the same number of people with psoriasis and diabetes had high levels of build-up.
Once confounding factors were accounted for, such as Body Mass Index (BMI), the link between type 2 diabetes and coronary calcium build-up was no longer significant, but the association with psoriasis remained.
Senior author Dr Nehal N. Mehta said that the research team was unsure why psoriasis accelerates vascular disease. But Mehta added that while coronary artery calcium build-up poses a low risk to the heart in the short-term, it could become more dangerous as it builds up over time.
The study appears in JAMA Dermatology.

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