Skip to main content

In Psoriasis, Metabolic Syndrome Increases Cardiovascular Risk

In Psoriasis, Metabolic Syndrome Increases Cardiovascular Risk

Wed, 01/13/2021 - 17:38

Among patients with psoriasis, those who also have metabolic syndrome appear to have more cardiovascular disease risk factors, systemic inflammation, and coronary plaque burden than those who do not have metabolic syndrome, according to a new study.1

“Metabolic syndrome, so common among our psoriasis patients, drives up coronary artery disease in this population by increasing the plaque buildup that clogs the heart’s arteries,” study coauthor Nehal N. Mehta, MD, head of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Lab of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases, said in a press release.2 “Our study shows that, of the metabolic syndrome components, hypertension and obesity contribute the most to coronary plaque buildup, and hence can be good targets for intervention.”

The observational study included 260 participants with psoriasis who underwent cardiac computed tomography angiography to assess noncalcified coronary burden.

In all, 31% met harmonized International Diabetes Federation criteria for metabolic syndrome; these participants had significantly higher systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, and blood cholesterol. According to computed tomography angiography, the participants with metabolic syndrome also had more coronary artery plaque buildup—a high-risk factor for myocardial infarctions.

“Even after adjusting for individual metabolic syndrome factors, blood pressure and obesity assessed by waist circumference were the most significant links to coronary plaque buildup,” Dr Mehta said in the press release.2

Efforts to raise awareness of metabolic syndrome in patients with psoriasis are necessary to decrease patients’ increased cardiovascular risk, the researchers advised.

—Jolynn Tumolo


1. Teklu M, Zhou W, Kapoor P, et al. Metabolic syndrome and its factors are associated with non-calcified coronary plaque burden in psoriasis: an observational cohort study. J Am Acad Dermatol. Published online December 28, 2020. doi:1016/j.jaad.2020.12.044 

2. Study links metabolic syndrome to higher cardiovascular risk in patients with psoriasis. News release. National Institutes of Health. December 28, 2020. Accessed January 11, 2021. 

Back to Top