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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2010 Jul-Sep;23(3):911-6.

Homocysteine, vitamin B12 and folic acid levels in psoriatic patients and correlation with disease severity.

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  • 1Department of Human and Hereditary Pathology, Institute of Dermatology, University of Pavia and Foundation IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy. vbrazzelli@libero.it


Hyperhomocysteinaemia represents an independent risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, stroke, peripheral arterial occlusive disease and venous thrombosis. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease associated with increased atherothrombosis and cardiovascular risk profile. The aim of this study is to investigate homocysteine, folic acid and vitamin B12 levels in a cohort of psoriatic patients and its relationship with the severity of the disease. A retrospective observational study in 98 patients with chronic plaque psoriasis and 98 healthy controls was performed. Total plasma homocysteine level, folic acid, vitamin B12 and PASI index were assessed in every patient. Patients with psoriasis had plasma homocysteine levels higher than controls (57% of cases and 25% of controls; p<0.0001). Folic acid and vitamin B12 plasma levels were lower in psoriatic patients than in controls (p = NS), lower levels of vitamin B12 were found in patients with hyperhomocysteinaemia compared to patients with a normal value of homocysteine (p = 0.0009). The severity of psoriasis assessed according to PASI (19.51+/-16.26) did not directly correlate either with higher levels of homocysteine or with vitamin B12 and folic acid plasma levels. In conclusion, a significantly higher prevalence of hyperhomocysteinaemia was found in psoriatic patients compared to healthy controls. A significant correlation between hyperhomocysteinaemia and lower vitamin B12 levels, but not folic acid, was evidenced. On the contrary, our data do not correlate the high level of homocysteine with higher PASI scores or psoriasis type, suggesting that homocysteine level can be considered an independent risk factor in psoriatic patients.

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