Psoriasis in women link to raised diabetes risk

A US study has found that women with psoriasis are more likely to develop the metabolic disorder.

Women with psoriasis are 63 per cent more likely to develop type-2 diabetes than those without the skin disease, according to US research.

The study also revealed that women who have psoriasis are at a greater risk of developing hypertension.

Researchers from the Brigham and Women's Hospital at the Harvard Medical School in Boston studied 78,061 women aged 27 to 44 who did not have diabetes or hypertension.

The women were asked if they had a history of psoriasis at the start of the study, which 2.3 per cent said they did.

They were then followed up for signs of diabetes and hypertension over a 14-year period.

Overall, 2 per cent of the women went on to develop diabetes and 20 per cent developed hypertension.

After adjusting for age, BMI and smoking status, women with psoriasis had a 63 per cent increased risk of type-2 diabetes and a 17 per cent increased risk of hypertension compared with women without the condition.

Women who suffer from psoriasis are more likely to visit their doctor and so have a higher chance of being diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension. The researchers therefore performed an additional analysis focusing on women who underwent at least one physical examination during the follow-up period. But this did not influence the overall results.

The research team, led by Dr Abrar Qureshi, proposed that inflammation could be a plausible mechanism underlying the association between psoriasis and diabetes as well as between psoriasis and hypertension.

But therapy for psoriasis may also promote the development of diabetes or hypertension, especially if patients are treated with systemic steroids, they added.

They concluded: 'further research is needed to better understand the mechanism underlying these associations and to find out whether psoriasis therapy can (affect) the risk for diabetes and hypertension.'

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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