Washington, April 21 (ANI): Women with psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease, are at higher risk of developing diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure), says a new study.
Recent studies have indicated that psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of other illnesses and death.
"Systemic inflammation in psoriasis and an increased prevalence of unhealthy lifestyle factors have been independently associated with obesity, insulin resistance and an unfavourable cardiovascular risk profile," the authors said.
Abrar A. Qureshi, M.D., M.P.H., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues studied 78,061 women involved in the Nurses' Health Study II, a group of female nurses age 27 to 44 years in 1991.
Participants-all of whom were free of diabetes and hypertension at the beginning of the study-responded to a survey which included a question about lifetime history of psoriasis in 2005 and were assessed for the development of diabetes or hypertension during the 14-year follow-up.
Of the women, 1,813 (2.3 percent) reported a diagnosis of psoriasis. A total of 1,560 (2 percent) developed diabetes and 15,724 (20 percent) developed hypertension.
Researchers found that women with psoriasis were 63 percent more likely to develop diabetes and 17 percent more likely to develop hypertension than women without psoriasis. These associations remained strong even after the researchers took into account factors such as age, body mass index and smoking status.
The authors believe that inflammation could be a biologically plausible explanation for the association between psoriasis and hypertension as well as that between psoriasis and diabetes.
"These data illustrate the importance of considering psoriasis a systemic disorder rather than simply a skin disease. Further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms underlying these associations and to find out whether psoriasis therapy can reduce the risk for diabetes and hypertension," the authors said.
The study is published in the April issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (ANI)