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Keywords:

  • cardiovascular diseases;
  • inflammation;
  • psoriasis;
  • spiral computed tomography

Summary

Background  Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder affecting about 2% of white-skinned individuals. Epidemiological data on the prevalence and degree of coronary artery calcification (CAC) as an indicator for cardiovascular diseases in patients with psoriasis are contradictory.

Objectives  To study the prevalence and degree of CAC as an indicator for cardiovascular diseases in 32 patients with psoriasis matched for age, sex and risk factors to an equally sized control population.

Methods  Noncontrast-enhanced 16-row spiral computed tomography was performed in patients and controls.

Results  We found a significantly increased prevalence (59·4% vs. 28·1%, P = 0·015) and severity (CAC score according to Agatston 3·7 vs. 0·0, P = 0·019) of CAC in patients with psoriasis. Multiple linear regression calculations identified psoriasis as a likely independent risk factor for CAC.

Conclusions  Our results point towards the potentially systemic nature of the inflammatory processes underlying the pathogenesis of psoriasis, which may therefore be considered a potentially severe systemic disease.