Is your immune system weak? Then there is a higher than average chance that you could suffer a heart attack—or even death!

Conditions such as psoriasis, psoriasis arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are unorthodox symptoms of heart diseases. While psoriasis is characterized by  rough, red skin patches, rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation of joints. Together, these two diseases affect more than 8.5 million people in the US and rheumatoid arthritis affects mostly women.

Co-lead author Dr Alexis Ogdie  of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study and medical records of people in the UK were used, where 138,000 adults with psoriasis, 8,700 with both psoriasis and psoriasis arthritis, and 42,000 with rheumatoid arthritis were compared with more than 81,000 adults with none of the conditions. The study followed all subjects between 1994 and 2010.

Patients with any of the above conditions were more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, cardiac arrest or to die from one of the conditions, over the 16-year period.

Dr Ogdie found that people were most likely to suffer a heart attack if they were diagnosed with psoriasis arthritis.

The study showed the link between cardiovascular diseases and the conditions above. Doctors should not just treat these conditions for what they are, but also educate the patient about it being a sign of possible heart diseases and not just skin rashes and inflamed joints.