People with psoriasis have nearly three times the normal risk of stroke and abnormal heart rhythm, according to scientists in Denmark. The researchers believe this may be because the skin and blood vessels may share similar sources of inflammation. However The Stroke Association said this should not be an immediate cause for concern

Psoriasis is a condition in which the skin cells replace themselves more rapidly than normal and results in red, flaky, crusty patches on the skin and affects 2% of people in the UK.

In patients under 50 with mild psoriasis, the risk of abnormal heart rhythm – atrial fibrillation – increased by 50%. The risk of ischaemic stroke increased by 97%.

In those with severe psoriasis, the risks increased by 198% and 180% respectively.

The increased risks for patients over the age of 50 were much smaller.

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