A major study has found that people with psoriasis are more likely to develop diabetes and cardiovascular disease among other conditions. The study was done by dermatologists at the University of Pennsylvania, published in JAMA dermatology, and included roughly 100,000 people.
Researchers compared those with the skin disease to those with other diseases and found that the more severe the psoriasis was, the more likely the person was to develop other diseases. The full list of conditions people with psoriasis were more likely to develop includes: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, peptic ulcer, kidney disease, heart attack, mild liver disease, peripheral vascular disease and rheumatologic disease.
This epidemiological study is important because of the numbers that were involved. There were 9,035 patients with psoriasis among the total 99,385 recorded in the study. But not only was there a higher prevalence of diseases for people with psoriasis, the relationship between severity of the skin disease and likelihood of other diseases suggests (although it doesn t prove) a causal relationship.
Dr. Joel Gelfand, the research team leader and associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania s Perelman School of medicine says that the study is clinically important because, "by understanding how degree of skin affected is associated with various health risks, patients and their caregivers can better understand how these study results may apply to them on an individual basis."