In people with psoriasis — a chronic skin condition caused by an overactive immune system — anti-inflammatory biologic drugs like adalimumab (Humira), etanercept (Enbrel), and ustekinumab (Stelara), may help prevent heart disease, according to an observational study published in Cardiovascular Research, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology.
This study involved 121 patients with severe psoriasis who qualified for biologic treatment, 89 of whom took were treated with biological therapy and 32 of whom used topical therapy instead. Study participants underwent computed tomography angiography at the start of the study and one year later to assess their arterial health and plaque in their coronary arteries, a common indictor of heart disease. In those taking biologic therapy, the researchers also assessed blood markers of systemic inflammation.
After one year, study participants taking biologics experienced an 8 percent reduction in coronary plaque and those taking a topical medication had a 2 percent increase in coronary plaque. According to the researchers, the improvement in those on biologic therapy were similar to the effects of taking a statin drug for one year.
Sourced from: Cardiovascular Research