Study backs psoriasis, metabolic link

June 1, 2011

Results of a new study suggest that severe psoriasis doubles the likelihood of metabolic syndrome, and that the prevalence of each syndrome component - including obesity, hypertriglyceridemia and elevated glucose - increases with severity of the skin disease, MedPageToday reports.

London - Results of a new study suggest that severe psoriasis doubles the likelihood of metabolic syndrome, and that the prevalence of each syndrome component - including obesity, hypertriglyceridemia and elevated glucose - increases with severity of the skin disease, MedPageToday reports.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine used records from England’s Health Improvement Network to identify all psoriasis patients ages 45 to 65, then matched each one with 10 control patients who did not have psoriasis. The resulting study population consisted of 4,065 psoriatic patients and a control group of 40,650 psoriasis-free patients.

Overall, patients with psoriasis had a 33.7 percent prevalence of metabolic syndrome compared with 25.9 percent in the control group. The odds increased with psoriasis severity from 1.22 for mild disease to 1.56 for moderate disease and 1.98 for severe disease.

Analysis of the different disorders that make up metabolic syndrome showed a similar pattern of increasing prevalence with psoriasis severity. Overall, patients with psoriasis had an odds ratio of 1.20 for elevated triglycerides, 1.16 for elevated glucose and 1.25 for obesity. Moreover, the prevalence of each abnormality increased with the severity of the psoriasis.

Lead author Sinead Langan, M.D., of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who reported the findings at a recent meeting of the Society for Investigative Dermatology, said the findings of the study suggest that patients with psoriasis should undergo enhanced screening for metabolic syndrome.

MedPage Today quotes Joel Gelfand, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, as saying, “I think it’s remarkable how many scientific papers have come out at this meeting looking at psoriasis and cardiovascular disease, metabolic comorbidities … linking psoriasis to these outcomes in some direct manner.”