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Psoriasis associated with increased risk of diabetes and hypertension

Reuters Health • The Doctor's Channel Daily Newscast

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Results of a prospective, 14-year study indicate that women with psoriasis are at increased risk of incident diabetes and hypertension, verifying previous findings from cross-sectional studies.

For their study, Dr. Abrar A. Qureshi and colleagues at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, evaluated data from the Nurses Health Study II, including 78,061 subjects (ages 27 to 44) who had never been diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension at baseline in 1991. In 2005, 1813 said that they had a history of psoriasis.

During the intervening period, subjects reported 1560 incident cases of diabetes and 15,724 incident cases of hypertension.

The age-adjusted relative risk of diabetes in women with psoriasis compared with those without psoriasis was 2.08, while that for hypertension was 1.32, the team reports in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Women with psoriasis had somewhat lower mean physical activity levels and higher mean BMI, alcohol intake, and rates of current and past smoking than others in the cohort, but after adjusting for these factors psoriasis remained significantly associated with diabetes and hypertension at relative risks of 1.63 and 1.17, respectively.

“These data illustrate the importance of considering psoriasis a systemic disorder rather than simply a skin disease,” Dr. Qureshi and his associates emphasize.

Future research, they say, should focus on delineating the mechanisms responsible for these associations, and on learning “whether psoriasis therapy can reduce the risk for diabetes and hypertension.”

Arch Dermatol 2009;145:379-382.