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Treating psoriasis with injection drugs may cut inflammation in the vital arteries that feed the heart, a study published Wednesday suggests.
Psoriasis, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, is an inflammatory autoimmune disease, suffered by millions of Americans, including model Cara Delevigne and Kim Kardashian West, who has opened up about the condition since her 2011 diagnosis.
Inflammation - Patches - Condition - Risks - Heart
The inflammation that leads to the red and scaly patches of the skin condition raises risks for developing heart disease as well by causing the coronary arteries to constrict.
So scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted experiments to see if a treatment for psoriasis could treat coronary inflammation too.
Treatment - Psoriasis - Inflammation - Way - Effects
Remarkably, they found that the treatment worked - for both psoriasis and coronary inflammation, suggesting a novel way to counteract the dangerous effects of inflammatory diseases on the cardiovascular system.
Some three to five percent of Americans develop psoriasis, raising their risks for heart disease, the number one killer in the US.
Fact - Study - Psoriasis - Percent - Risk
In fact, a Danish study found that those with severe psoriasis are at a 54 percent higher risk of stroke, a 21 percent higher risk of heart attack and the odds are 53 percent higher that they will die over the course of a 10-year period.
These risks underscore the fact that psoriasis is much more than a cosmetic issue.
Psoriasis - Causes - Pathology - Scientists - T
Psoriasis's full causes and pathology aren't understood, but scientists believe that it occurs when infection-fighting T cells misguidedly attack healthy skin cells.
This bombardment leads to an overproduction of skin cells that build up in plagues or patches and redness or inflammation, a hallmark of an immune system's counterattack to infections.
Immune - System - Over-reactivity - Toll - Body
Immune system over-reactivity takes a toll on the body.
Inflammation can cause blood vessels to harden and narrow.
Vessels - Blood - Heart
And that's particularly dangerous to the vessels that supply blood to the heart.
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