Patients with skin disease psoriasis need evaluation of coronary artery disease risk
Two pregnancies and six cases of intermenstrual bleeding have been described in women using oral contraceptives, attributed to the use of Diflucan. This interaction (if such it is) is rare. Two pregnancies have been reported, despite the use of oral contraceptives, attributed to an interaction with single 150 mg doses of Diflucan. Intermenstrual bleeding has also
Full Post: Diflucan and oral contraceptives
According to new recommendations in the December 10 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology (AJC), published by Elsevier, new research is called for and patients with severe forms of the skin disease psoriasis should receive evaluation and possible treatment to reduce their risk of coronary artery disease (CAD).
Psoriasis is a common skin disease affecting two to three percent of the world population, including 7.5 million Americans. The most common type of psoriasis causes a scaly rash that can cover large areas of the skin; some patients develop arthritis as well. In addition, there is now strong evidence that people with psoriasis are at increased risk of CAD-narrowing of the arteries supplying the heart, which can lead to heart attack (myocardial infarction) and other complications.
A special “Editor’s Consensus” article provides an update on the little-recognized link between psoriasis and heart disease. “This AJC Editor’s Consensus focuses on a large new area of evidence strengthening the connection between inflammatory processes and coronary artery disease,” comments cardiologist and lead author of the article, Vincent E. Friedewald, M.D., of the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Friedewald is also an Assistant Editor of AJC . “It is a particularly interesting and unique document in that it bridges current knowledge from two medical disciplines-dermatology and cardiology-that rarely interrelate.”
“This consensus statement, issued by an expert panel of cardiologists, dermatologists, and scientists, calls for a new standard of care for patients with moderate to severe psoriasis,” comments University of Pennsylvania dermatologist Joel M. Gelfand, M.D. “Based on the evolving science, we recommend that patients with moderate to severe psoriasis be educated about the association of psoriasis and cardiovascular disease and that these patients receive appropriate screening and treatment of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors.”
The explanation for the link between psoriasis and CAD risk is not yet clear, but a leading candidate is inflammation. Regardless of the cause, the expert panel believes that the current evidence is strong enough to recommend that doctors assess CAD risk in their patients with psoriasis. Key recommendations in the consensus statement include:
- Informing patients with moderate to severe psoriasis that they are at increased risk of CAD and performing a medical evaluation to assess cardiovascular risk. For patients with milder psoriasis, evaluation is recommended if other CAD risk factors are present, such as obesity or high blood pressure.
- Prescribing treatment to reduce high cholesterol levels and other risk factors, if present.
- Paying close attention to possible interactions or adverse effects of the medications used to treat psoriasis.
Armed with research concluding that psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular conditions, Joel M. Gelfand, MD, MSCE, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and colleagues released an editorial consensus in the American Journal of Cardiology today, calling for psoriasis patients to be
Full Post: 3.6 million Americans living with active, undiagnosed psoriasis, unaware of associated risks
Centocor, Inc., has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Complete Response letter for its Biologics License Application (BLA) for ustekinumab. The application, filed by Centocor in late 2007, seeks approval to market ustekinumab as a subcutaneous biologic therapy for the treatment of adult patients with chronic moderate to severe plaque
Full Post: FDA issues complete response to biologics license application for ustekinumab
Patients with the skin disease psoriasis appear more likely to have higher levels of leptin (a hormone produced by fat cells that may contribute to obesity and other metabolic abnormalities) than persons without psoriasis, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Dermatology. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that results in a
Full Post: Psoriasis sufferers more likely to have higher levels of leptin
Janssen-Cilag announced today that ustekinumab, the first in a new class of biologics, has received a positive opinion for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis from the European Committee for Medical Products for Human Use (CHMP). This positive opinion takes patients living with the physical and mental burdens of psoriasis a step closer
Full Post: Ustekinumab receives positive opinion in Europe for treatment of plaque psoriasis
Online support communities appear to offer both a valuable educational resource and a source of psychological and social support for individuals with psoriasis, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Dermatology. “Psoriasis currently affects approximately 0.6 percent to 4.8 percent of the world’s population,” according to background information in the article.
Full Post: Online communities provide valuable support for psoriasis sufferers