Psoriasis is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease characterized by topical skin lesions as well as an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). There is also increasing evidence that patients with psoriasis are more prone to several CVD risk factors (hypertension, obesity, dyslipidemia and smoking), non-cardiac vascular diseases (carotid, peripheral artery and chronic kidney disease) and metabolic co-morbidities (type 2 diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and obstructive sleep apnea) compared with the general population. The associations are even greater in patients with severe psoriasis and those with psoriatic arthritis. Insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction and obesity induced by several adipokines and inflammatory cytokines are proposed as the common mechanisms linking psoriasis with CVD, vascular risk factors and metabolic diseases.
The present narrative review considers the associations between psoriasis (and psoriatic arthritis) with CVD, vascular risk factors and metabolic diseases. Drugs that reduce CVD risk and improve metabolic parameters may also beneficially affect psoriasis severity and prognosis. Furthermore, anti-psoriatic drugs can exert different effects on CVD risk and metabolic co-morbidities. Therefore, physicians should be aware of these associations in order to adequately monitor and treat psoriatic patients.