Psoriasis and High Blood Pressure

HealthXtra-Psoriasis

HealthXtra-Psoriasis

Perhaps you have been treating those red, itchy or scaly patches on your skin with palm oil or other self-invented medications. It is high time you engaged the services of a dermatologist or other qualified health personnel, as they could be symptomatic of psoriasis. Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease characterised by redness, itching, or development of scaly pigments on the skin, and a new study has shown that patients with moderate and severe psoriasis are at increased risk of uncontrolled high blood pressure.

After a study aimed at checking if the severity of psoriasis influences that of high blood pressure among patients suffering from both conditions, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, found that metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, obesity and other cardiovascular risk factors are more frequent among people with psoriasis compared to those who do not suffer from the ailment.  At a severe stage, psoriasis is associated with increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death from cardiovascular diseases.

In the first ever study that seeks to establish and investigate the relationship between psoriasis in patients who already have high blood pressure, the researchers used The Health Improvement Network, a UK-based patient group considered to be broadly representative of the population. Having examined data on 1,322 patients who had both psoriasis and high blood pressure and other control group made up of   11,977 who had high blood pressure but no psoriasis, the group found what they described as “dose-response relationship” between uncontrolled high blood pressure and psoriasis severity. Their finding indicates that the more severe a person’s psoriasis is, the more likely they are going to have uncontrolled high blood pressure.

With reference to the study, uncontrolled high blood pressure is a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher, measured in a clinical setting. The researchers write in their report, “Adding to the currently limited understanding of the effects of comorbid disease on high blood pressure, our findings have important clinical implications, suggesting a need for more effective management of blood pressure in patients with psoriasis, especially those with more extensive skin involvement greater than or equal to 3 per cent of body surface area affected.”

The authors recommend additional studies, which would further investigate the effect of chronic inflammatory diseases like psoriasis on high blood pressure and also look at the mechanisms involved in blood pressure control among psoriasis patients.

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