Psoriasis May Increase High Blood Pressure Risk

Uncontrolled hypertension was most likely in severe psoriasis cases

(RxWiki News) Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition, but it may be more than skin-deep. It may also raise high blood pressure risk.

Heart disease risk factors, including high blood pressure (hypertension), are more common among those with psoriasis than those without it, reports the National Psoriasis Foundation. Psoriasis has been tied to a greater risk of heart attack and stroke.

A new study found that patients with moderate to severe psoriasis may face greater odds of having uncontrolled high blood pressure than those without this chronic skin disease.

The research was led by Junko Takeshita, MD, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues.

"Our findings have important clinical implications, suggesting that patients with more severe psoriasis may require more effective blood pressure management," Dr. Takeshita told dailyRx News. "Patients with hypertension and more severe psoriasis, in particular, should be proactive about checking their own blood pressure at home and ensuring that their medical providers are also monitoring their blood pressure for adequate control."

Dr. Takeshita and team looked at data on 1,322 psoriasis patients with high blood pressure. They compared this information with data on 11,977 patients who had hypertension but no psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease marked by raised, red patches on the skin covered in scaly white flakes of skin.

The likelihood of having uncontrolled high blood pressure was 20 percent greater among psoriasis patients with moderate hypertension. It was 48 percent greater among those with severe psoriasis.

There was no statistically significant increase in uncontrolled blood pressure risk among those with mild psoriasis.

Patients from all study groups were equally likely to be taking blood pressure medication.

The authors wrote that their findings suggested “a need for more effective management of blood pressure in patients with psoriasis, especially those with more extensive skin involvement.”

Patients were from the United Kingdom and all between the ages of 25 and 64.

Just over half the study subjects had mild psoriasis. Over a third had moderate psoriasis. The remainder had severe cases.

Mild was defined as psoriasis covering less than 2 percent of body surface area. Moderate affected 3 to 5 percent of the body. Severe covered more than 10 percent.

Uncontrolled hypertension was defined as having a systolic blood pressure of 140 points or higher or a diastolic blood pressure of 90 or higher.

The systolic (top) number measures pressure in the arteries when the heart beats. The diastolic (bottom) number measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting). Normal blood pressure is 120 points over 80.

The study was published online Oct. 15 in JAMA Dermatology.

Authors received funding and support from Abbvie, Amgen Inc., Celgene Corp., Eli Lilly, Janssen Biologics, Merck, Novartis Corp and Pfizer Inc. The research was funded by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and other sources.

Review Date: 
October 15, 2014