Psoriasis, an autoimmune condition that affects the skin, and rheumatic conditions such as psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus can lead to inflammation throughout the body, including the cardiovascular system. This inflammation can contribute to high blood pressure, diabetes, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and plaque buildup in the coronary arteries, called atherosclerosis. As plaque forms, these vessels narrow, increasing a person’s cardiovascular risk.
Doctors from the Cardio-Rheumatology Program, part of the Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, provide personalized risk assessments and encourage evaluation even for people who believe they are too young to develop heart disease. People with psoriasis and rheumatic conditions can have up to a five-fold increased risk of heart disease compared to people without these diseases, and they tend to develop atherosclerosis at earlier ages than the general population.
During your cardiovascular risk assessment, we perform cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar testing and, when needed, cardiac imaging. This includes carotid artery ultrasound and cardiac calcium scoring to evaluate plaque buildup in the carotid and coronary arteries, respectively.
We also talk with you about your lifestyle, including the role nutrition and exercise play in improving your heart health. Based on our conversations, the testing and imaging results, and understanding of your underlying condition, we develop a plan that is focused on reducing your risk of heart disease.
Make an Appointment
To schedule an appointment at the Cardio-Rheumatology Program, please call us at 212-263-0855.