According to a new study, two disorders that may seem disconnected, psoriasis and type 2 diabetes, may be linked by a common element—inflammation.
The researchers found that having psoriasis, an autoimmune skin disorder, may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, this association was independent of other traditional risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes like being overweight.
In addition, they found that the more severe the psoriasis, the greater the risk for type 2 diabetes.
The researchers compared health data from 108,000 people with psoriasis to more than 430,000 people without the skin disorder.
They found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was 11% higher for those with mild psoriasis and 46% higher for those with severe psoriasis, compared to those who did not have the condition.
As a result of their findings, the researchers suggest that patients with severe psoriasis should be screened for diabetes. What’s the Connection?
Both psoriasis and diabetes are partially caused by inflammation in the body, said researchers. In recent years other studies have found a connection between psoriasis and other serious health problems linked to inflammation including: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
"For years, it [psoriasis] was thought only to be a disease of the skin," said psoriasis researcher and dermatologist Joel Gelfand, MD. "In fact, it's an inflammatory disease caused by the immune system, and people with it are more likely to have systemic measures of inflammation."
For example, researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston found that patients with moderate to severe psoriasis had a 28% increased risk of coronary heart disease and a nearly 12% greater risk of stroke.
If you have psoriasis, the take-home message for you is to carefully monitory important markers of inflammation and keep them in the normal range.
- Body Weight
- Blood Pressure
- Blood Sugar
For more information about psoriasis including National Psoriasis Awareness Month activities near you, visit the National Psoriasis Foundation.
American Medical Association