What Is The Psoriasis Prevention Initiative?
Last updated: June 2023
Psoriasis Prevention Initiative. These three words probably find you with a few different questions. Give me a chance to explain...
Are you aware that one of the comorbidities of psoriasis is cardiovascular disease? Another term for it is, Metabolic Syndrome. If you have severe psoriasis, the chances of you having heart disease are increased by 1.5 to 2%1. The National Psoriasis Foundation is not letting this statistic slip past them.
A look at metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome consists of a group of conditions that put individuals at higher risk for heart disease and diabetes. It includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
Metabolic syndrome has been associated with systemic inflammation, and in patients with Pso and PsA, these conditions have been further linked to difficulty in attaining minimal disease activity.2.
Well, what exactly is the Psoriasis Prevention Initiative?
Founded in 2020, the Psoriasis Prevention Initiative was created by the National Psoriasis Foundation to fund research towards the prevention of the onset of psoriasis, disease relapse, and/or comorbidities such as heart disease.
In 2021, the National Psoriasis Foundation moved the initiative into phase two of the research. As stated before, the NPF has not turned a blind eye toward the sobering statistics that heart disease is very relevant in psoriasis patients.
This year the NPF awarded $1.5 MILLION towards this phase which is being called the “Prevention of cardiovascular disease and mortality in patients with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis: Translating guidelines of care to better outcomes for patients with psoriatic disease.”
For this phase two research, researchers are to develop new diagnostic tests and treatments to provide better cardiac health to those of us living with psoriatic disease.
My own family history of heart disease
Heart disease is very prevalent in my family. My family history starts with my grandfather who required a pacemaker for the last ten years of his life. My father also currently has a pacemaker.
My mother lives with a mechanical valve in her heart. My aunt, my mother’s sister, just had a stroke three months ago during a procedure to clear blockages. This risk is something that is hitting me like a ton of bricks.
My own conditions currently are psoriasis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight. I cannot stop thinking that more is coming for me concerning heart disease. Oh, I forgot to mention that my psoriasis was very severe for several years until I was put on the right biologic.
What this initiative means to me
After reading my family history, can you understand why this initiative is very important to me? I have let my doctors know that heart disease is prevalent and needs to be addressed. Doctors are human though - meaning that things slip through the cracks sometimes.
I always advocate that we must be our biggest advocates when it comes to our health. Psoriasis and a family history of heart disease make it a must for me. If research can come up with better diagnostic tests and treatments then I appreciate all that the NPF is doing in this area to try to make our lives better.
Now that I have explained it better what does the Psoriasis Prevention Initiative mean to you? If you have heart disease prevalent in your family, I hope you will take the time to read more about it so that you can be the best advocate for yourself.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?