Young people with severe psoriasis are at the greatest risk, but the risk reduces as the psoriasis sufferer ages or if the psoriasis is mild. A man aged 60 who has mild psoriasis has a risk factor of just one times.
Researchers are unsure what the link is, but think it could have something to do with the antigen HLA-Cw6, which is more prevalent in psoriasis sufferers.
It could, however, be nothing, or little, to do with psoriasis. Psoriasis sufferers may suffer from more than their fair share of the usual heart attack risk factors, such as obesity, smoking and stress. Unfortunately the researchers had lifestyle data on just 60 per cent of trial participants, and so don't know if that was an issue or not.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2006; 296: 1735-41).
E-news broadcast 19 October 2006 No.302 [Subscribe]