Biologic therapy for psoriasis may reduce heart disease, fin
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Patients with psoriasis treated with biologic therapy, which are protein-based infusions to suppress inflammation, had a significant reduction in high-risk plaque in heart arteries, over one-year, according to new research published today in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, an AHA journal.

The analysis involved 209 middle-aged patients (ages 37-62) with psoriasis who participated in the Psoriasis Atherosclerosis Cardiometabolic Initiative at the National Institutes of Health, an ongoing observational study. Of these participants, 124 received biologic therapy, and 85 were in the control group, treated only with topical creams and light therapy.

To measure the effects of biologic therapy on arteries of the heart, the researchers performed cardiac CT scans on all study participants before they started therapy and one year later. The CT results between the two groups were then compared.

At the start of the study, participants with psoriasis had low cardiovascular risk by conventional cardiovascular risk scores, and severe psoriasis was associated with higher BMI, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (a measure of systemic inflammation) and higher levels of coronary artery plaque.

After one year of treatment, patients who received biologic therapy were compared to the control group. Researchers found:

-- Biologic therapy was associated with an 8% reduction in coronary plaque. In contrast, those in the control group experienced slightly increased coronary plaque progression.

-- Even after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and psoriasis severity, patients treated with biologic therapy had reduced coronary plaque.

“There is approximately 6-8% reduction in coronary plaque following therapy with statins. Similarly, our treatment with biologic therapy reduced coronary plaque by the same amount after one year. These findings suggest that biologic therapy to treat psoriasis may be just as beneficial as statin therapy on heart arteries,” researchers said.

Source: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.120.011199
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