Monday, May 13, 2013

How Can Psoriasis Raise Diabetes Risk?

Being a lifelong condition, psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that affects the skin. People with psoriasis will have their skins filled with thick silvery scales and feel itchy, dry and sometimes painful. Psoriasis is, however, not contagious.

There are 5 types of psoriasis namely, plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular, and erythrodermic. The most common form is plaque psoriasis. More than 3 percent of adults in the United States have psoriasis, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

For some people, psoriasis is just a nuisance. However, a review, which appeared in January 2013 in the ‘Archives of Dermatology’, reported that patients with psoriasis had up to an almost 4-fold higher risk of developing Type-2 diabetes than those without the skin condition.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis reviewed results of 27 past observational studies from around the world and found that people with psoriasis were 59 percent more likely to have Type-2 diabetes than control participants. In particular, those with severe psoriasis were almost twice as likely to have diabetes. In the 5 studies that tracked diabetes-free people, those with psoriasis were 27 percent more likely to develop diabetes than others without the skin disease.

Health experts believe that the chronic, body-wide inflammation behind psoriasis might also be responsible for raising a person's risk of diabetes, as well as heart disease and stroke. Past research has already associated psoriasis with higher risk of having heart disease or suffering a heart attack or stroke. However, they are not sure how psoriasis is linked to these diseases.

The review also indicated that people with psoriasis tend to be heavier, more depressed and less physically active than those without the condition, which could increase their underlying diabetes risk.

Currently, there is no cure but various treatments can help control the symptoms. For example, lifestyle measures, such as using a nonprescription cortisone cream and exposing the skin to small amounts of natural sunlight, can improve psoriasis symptoms. As psoriasis has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, treating high blood lipid levels might also lead to improvement.

In another study of more than 500,000 people in the United Kingdom, which was released in June 2012, also linked severe psoriasis with a 46 percent increased risk of diabetes.

As people with psoriasis may not know about the risks they are facing, the researchers recommended extra diabetes screening and education about these risks for people with the skin condition.

No comments:

Post a Comment