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Psoriasis boosts diabetes risk, study finds


NEW YORK — Research published in the latest issue of Archives of Dermatology, a JAMA network publication, found that an inflammatory skin disease is an independent risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania compared 108,132 people with psoriasis to 430,716 matched patients without psoriasis, and determined patients with mild psoriasis had an 11% increased risk of diabetes, while patients with severe psoriasis had a 46% higher risk, compared with patients without psoriasis. The study also looked at treatments used by those diagnosed with diabetes, and found that the patients with both psoriasis and diabetes were more likely to require pharmacological treatment of diabetes, compared with diabetics without psoriasis.

Both psoriasis and diabetes are diseases caused by chronic inflammation, the study authors noted, and share a common pathway — known as TH-1 cytokines — which can promote insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, as well as promote inflammatory cytokines known to drive psoriasis.

"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," said senior author Joel Gelfand, associate professor of dermatology in the Perelman School of Medicine. "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."

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