Inflammation may be the reason people with psoriatic arthritis have an increased risk of coronary artery disease, according to a recent article in Cardiology News. This study compared the amount of coronary artery plaque in 50 patients with psoriatic arthritis and 25 healthy controls. Both groups of people were similar in age, smoking status, gender and presence of metabolic syndrome. The researchers found coronary artery plaque in more patients with psoriatic arthritis (78%, 39 out of 50 patients) than healthy controls (44%, 11 out of 25 people).
The authors suggest that inflammation could be the common link between psoriatic arthritis and coronary artery disease due to a “maladaptive immune response and altered lipid metabolism.” Let’s explain:
Psoriatic arthritis is seen in about 30% of people with psoriasis. Like psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis results from an overactive immune system. In psoriatic arthritis, your body’s immune system incorrectly attacks your own tissue, like joints and skin. The incorrect immune response causes inflammation that triggers joint pain, stiffness and swelling. The inflammation can affect the entire body and cause tissue and joint damage, if not treated.
Coronary arteries are the arteries that supply the heart with oxygen and nutrients. They can accumulate plaque and become narrow, just like other arteries in your body. The buildup of plaque may cause an inflammatory response within your blood vessels, which may increase the risk of blockage. Drugs that lower cholesterol reduce inflammation in blood vessels.
Here are tips to follow to reduce inflammation in your body:
- Stop smoking
- Control blood pressure within healthy limits
- Decrease LDL cholesterol
- Eat a heart healthy diet