If you have widespread psoriasis that flares often, this could be affecting your heart. Find out what changes you can make to reduce this risk.
Treating psoriasis may help more than your skin. Treatment may also reduce your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. It may even lower the likelihood of heart failure.
Why could treating psoriasis reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke?
Psoriasis causes inflammation on your skin and inside your body. Long-lasting inflammation inside your body may affect your heart and blood vessels, putting you at greater risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke.
Findings from research studies suggest that this increased risk affects people who have moderate or severe psoriasis. Mild psoriasis doesn’t seem to increase the risk.
The findings from some of these studies also suggest that people who treat moderate or severe psoriasis have:
- Fewer heart attacks
- Fewer strokes
- Fewer heart-related deaths
The research in this area is ongoing because not every study reached this conclusion.
Which psoriasis medications may have heart-health benefits?
The psoriasis medications that may reduce the risk of heart and blood vessel diseases are prescribed to treat moderate or severe psoriasis. These medications include:
- Biologics known as TNF blockers (adalimumab, etanercept, and infliximab)
- Ustekinumab (another type of biologic)
These are potent medications that have possible side effects. For this reason, a dermatologist screens each patient carefully before prescribing one of these medications. Even if you have an increased risk of heart or blood vessel disease, one of these medications may not be suitable for you.