Psoriasis therapy may reduce heart attacks

Aug. 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- A treatment of psoriasis was associated with a significantly reduced risk for heart attack compared with other forms of treatment, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Jashin J. Wu, director of dermatology research at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, said tumor necrosis factor inhibitors are used as a treatment for psoriasis to block the inflammatory response of the disease.

Wu and colleagues at the medical center conducted a retrospective study, using patient files, with at least three diagnosis codes for psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, without previous heart attacks, from January 2004 to November 2010.

Of the 8,845 patients included in the study, 57.4 percent were not treated with any systemic therapy or phototherapy (topical treatment group), 18.9 percent received a tumor necrosis factor inhibitor for at least two consecutive months (tumor necrosis factor inhibitor treatment group) and 23.7 percent were treated with oral systemic agents or phototherapy (oral/phototherapy treatment group).

The study, published online in the journal Archives of Dermatology, found after adjusting for other heart attack risk factors, patients in the tumor necrosis factor inhibitor treatment group had a 50 percent reduced risk of heart attack and the oral/phototherapy treatment group had a 46 percent reduced risk of heart attack compared with patients in the topical treatment group.

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