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Atherosclerosis. 2014 Dec;237(2):499-503. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2014.10.008. Epub 2014 Oct 18.

Increased subclinical atherosclerosis in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis.

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Department of Neurology, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway; University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Department of Dermatology, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway.
Department of Neurology, Akershus University Hospital, Lorenskog, Norway; University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, Norway.
Department of Neurology, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway; University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address:



Psoriasis is an immune-mediated inflammatory skin condition of unknown aetiology which usually requires life-long treatment. It is regarded a systemic inflammatory disease with a possible increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to assess carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), plaque prevalence and carotid stenosis as surrogate measures for cardiovascular disease in psoriasis patients and healthy controls.


Sixty-two patients with psoriasis and thirty-one healthy controls were included in the study. All were examined by Colour duplex ultrasound of the carotid arteries to compare carotid IMT values, carotid plaques and carotid stenosis in the two groups. Adjustments were made for traditional cardiovascular risk factors.


Patients with psoriasis had increased carotid IMT values compared to the controls: mean ± SD 0.71 ± 0.17 mm vs. 0.59 ± 0.08 mm; p = 0.001. When adjusted for known atherosclerotic risk factors this difference remained significant (p = 0.04). Carotid plaques were also more common (p = 0.03) in patients with psoriasis 13 (21%) compared to controls 1 (3%). There was no difference with regard to the number of carotid stenoses in patients and controls.


The results of this study support previous evidence which suggests that psoriasis is associated with an increased risk for atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular disease.


Atherosclerosis; Carotid IMT; Carotid plaques; Carotid stenosis; Carotid ultrasound; Co-morbidity; Psoriasis

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