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“In certain patients, psoriasis is a risk factor for heart attack comparable to diabetes,” says Joel M. Gelfand, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania. Patients with severe psoriasis, a skin condition that usually requires medical treatment, are more likely to smoke, be overweight, and have high blood pressure, but Dr. Gelfand’s research shows that psoriasis is an independent risk factor. He points out that psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that may cause chronic inflammation, which can trigger a heart attack.

In fact, autoimmune diseases are a risk factor in general. Dr. Wood says the number-one cause of death among people with lupus is heart attack.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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