Psoriasis linked to diabetes, study suggests

June 20, 2012

Psoriasis may be a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), a new study suggests.

Philadelphia - Psoriasis may be a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), a new study suggests.

A research team headed by Rahat S. Azfar, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, used data from The Health Improvement Network, a U.K.-based electronic medical-records database, to conduct a population-based study of adults ages 18 to 90. The researchers matched 108,132 patients with psoriasis to 430,716 patients without the disease.

“The adjusted attributable risk of developing T2DM among 1,000 patients with psoriasis per year is 0.9 extra cases overall, 0.7 cases in those with mild psoriasis, and 3.0 cases in those with severe psoriasis,” the authors reported.

Psoriasis is a risk factor for the development of T2DM and that this relationship is dose dependent, with severe psoriasis conferring a higher risk than mild psoriasis, the study concluded.

“Mechanistically, this relationship may be driven by chronic inflammation because both psoriasis and T2DM are associated with elevated levels of TH1-driven inflammatory markers, and because several studies have pointed to endogenous insulin resistance in patients with psoriasis,” the authors wrote.

A secondary aim of the study was to determine whether patients with diabetes and psoriasis were more likely to receive prescription diabetic therapy compared with patients with diabetes mellitus but no psoriasis.

The study authors found no difference in the use of oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin in patients with mild psoriasis, but “patients with severe psoriasis were more likely to be prescribed oral hypoglycemic agents and had a trend toward being more likely to be prescribed insulin,” the study authors wrote.

The study was published online in the Archives of Dermatology.

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