(RxWiki News) Those suffering from psoriasis are known to be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease like heart attack and stroke. A new treatment for psoriasis may also significantly decrease the cardiovascular risk.
In the treatment, a compound known as adalimumab (sold as Humira) is injected under the skin. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology and showed that the treatment decreased skin damage and improved cardiovascular health indicators.
"Ask your dermatologist about psoriasis’ relation with cardiovascular disease."
Robert Bissonnette, MD, MSc, President and Founder of Innovaderm Research Inc., and Jean-Claude Tardif, MD, Director of the Research Centre of the Montreal Heart Institute, co-authored the study.
The study followed 30 patients with moderate to severe psoriasis and a history of coronary disease and cardiovascular risk-factors. Some of the patients received the adalimumab injections, while the others had no treatment or a routine treatment (topical formulation or phototherapy).
The patients had vascular inflammation measured before and after the treatment using positron emission tomography, an advanced type of medical imaging. The team measured C-reactive proteins present in the blood as an indication of vascular inflammation. More C-reactive proteins means greater inflammation.
The group receiving the adalimumab injections showed a 51 percent decrease in C-reactive proteins. Seventy percent of this group also showed a major reduction in skin damage.
The other group showed only a two percent decrease in C-reactive proteins with 20 percent having a major reduction in skin damage.
"These findings are extremely encouraging for people suffering from psoriasis, as they face a greater risk of cardiovascular disease,” notes Tardif.
The study was presented March 16th, 2012, at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.