Psoriasis drug may help fight coronary plaques
Biologic therapies for severe psoriasis appear to help reduce noncalcified coronary plaques and improve plaque morphology, a recent study has shown.
Researchers conducted a prospective observational study including 121 psoriasis patients, of whom 89 received biologic treatments (mean age 49.1±12.2 years; 56 percent male) and 32 (mean age 51.2±12.0 years; 63 percent male) were treated with other agents. Participants tended to have low cardiovascular risk (median Framingham score, 3) with moderate-to-severe skin disease (median Psoriasis Area and Severity Index [PASI], 8.6).
After a year of follow-up, patients who were treated with biologic agents showed significant improvements in the PASI score (64-percent improvement, p<0.001), as well as a significant reduction in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels (p<0.001). No such changes were observed in the comparison group.
Moreover, a 5-percent decrease in total coronary plaque burden was observed in participants on biologic therapy (p=0.009), an effect primarily driven by a drop in the noncalcified plaque burden (p=0.005). No improvements in fibrous burden (p=0.71) were reported, though fibro-fatty (p=0.004) and necrotic (p=0.03) burdens decreased.
In comparison, those receiving nonbiologic interventions showed no significant 1-year change in total plaque burden (p=0.22), noncalcified plaque burden (p=0.17) and fibrous burden (p=0.22). There was also an increase in fibro-fatty burden (p=0.004).
Intergroup comparisons showed that the 1-year reduction in noncalcified plaque was significantly greater in patients treated with biologic agents (p=0.03) even after adjustments for cardiovascular risk factors.