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Treating psoriasis with Humira may reduce risk of heart attack and stroke

Researchers are aware that psoriasis increases risk for serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. Now a new study, presented at the March 19 American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting, suggests that treating psoriasis with drugs known as anti-TNF agents may also improve patients’ heart health and reduce their risk for associated inflammatory diseases.

The study—conducted by the Montreal Heart Institute and Innovaderm Research Inc., which specializes in dermatology clinical trials—examined two groups of patients with moderate to severe psoriasis.

The first group received injections of the anti-inflammatory biologic drug Humira, an anti-TNF agent, while another group received either no treatment or a conventional treatment, such as topicals or light therapy. During a four-month period, the Humira-treated patients showed a significant decrease in vascular inflammation, as well as a 51 percent reduction in C-reactive protein levels, which are associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke, compared with just a 2 percent decrease among those not treated with Humira. In addition, 70 percent of those given Humira experienced significant skin improvement versus 20 percent of the other group.

The study is preliminary and not conclusive. However, it does support previous studies that suggest treating psoriasis with anti-TNF agents reduces the risk of cornonary heart disease.

Read more about the study »

Learn more about the associated health risks of psoriasis »

March 26, 2012

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