(HealthDay News) – A large proportion of patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis are underdiagnosed and undertreated for cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Alexa B. Kimball, MD, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues reviewed the medical histories, including glucose, lipid, and blood pressure levels, of 2,899 patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis participating in three Phase 3 ustekinumab trials.

The researchers found that there were significant risk factors in patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis, with 58.6 and 28.8% of patients, respectively, having two or more and three or more CV risk factors. The risk of CV events, based on Framingham risk score, was high for 18.6% of patients and intermediate for 12.3% of patients. A small proportion of patients with diabetes, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia were undiagnosed at baseline (2.3, 9.1, and 4.9%, respectively). A higher proportion were untreated at baseline (19.1, 21.8, and 38.6%, respectively), and the proportion achieving the treatment goal was not ideal (36.7, 59.6, and 69.7%, respectively).

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“In summary, study findings highlight the fact that despite a growing recognition of the association between psoriasis and CV risk, a high proportion of patients with psoriasis severe enough to qualify for clinical trial participation have unrecognized or inadequately treated CV risk factors,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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