Diabetes Risk Increased by Psoriasis

by Mark Benson on June 26, 2012

Psoriasis risk to develop diabetes

In a recent study conducted at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, psoriasis has been determined as an independent risk for Type 2 diabetes. The greatest risk has been seen in patients suffering from severe psoriasis with researchers estimating that an additional 115,000 individuals would develop diabetes each year due to the risk added on by psoriasis aside from the conventional risk factors for this metabolic condition.

This research was published in the latest issue of the JAMA Network publication Archives of Dermatology.

According to Senior Author Joel M. Gelfland, MD, MSCE and Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Perelman School of Medicine, “These data suggest that patients with psoriasis are at increased risk for developing diabetes even if they don’t have common risk factors such as obesity. Patients with psoriasis should eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise and see their physician for routine preventative health screenings such as checks of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.”

Psoriasis is a skin disease characterized by inflammation, thickness of the skin and scaly patches, which affects over 7.5 million individuals in the US. The disease is also been related to increased risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular mortality.

In addition, study lead author Rahat S. Azfar, MD, MSCE and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Perelman School of Medicine said, “This research builds on previous work demonstrating a diverse set of increased health risks for people with psoriasis. In addition to having an increased risk of diabetes, people with psoriasis are more likely to have metabolic syndrome, high triglycerides and raised glucose levels, even if they are not overweight or have other common risk factors for these conditions. Both patients with psoriasis, especially those with severe psoriasis and their treating physicians should be aware of the potential for systemic metabolic complications associated with this skin disease.”

Psoriasis and diabetes have symptomatic chronic inflammation and share a common pathway, namely TH-1 cytokines. This pathway promotes insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome and promotes the activity of inflammatory cytokines that drives the psoriasis disease.

The study was composed of 108,132 individuals suffering from psoriasis and 430,716 patients without the skin condition. The study found that patients with mild psoriasis had an 11% risk of developing diabetes while those with severe psoriasis had 46% higher risk compared to those not suffering from psoriasis. The study further observed that treatments used for those suffering from diabetes and they found that patients suffering from both psoriasis and diabetes had an increased probability of requiring drug treatment for diabetes unlike those that suffer from diabetics without psoriasis.

The researchers further noted that subsequent studies must look into the extent to which psoriasis and its treatment to play a role in the development of Type 2 diabetes as well as its complications.

The research team included Daniel B. Shin, BA, Andrea B Troxel ScD, David J. Margolis MD, PhD from the Departments of Dermatology and Biostatistics and Epidemiology respectively of the University of Pennsylvania in conjunction with the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Also participating in the study as co-lead author is Nicole M. Seminara MD of the Department of Internal Medicine of the New York University Langone Medical Center.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rogger July 11, 2012 at 5:04 am

Yes i agree that diabetes can be effect on a psoriasis.it's a major symptoms of diabetes.

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