Health & Nutrition - - SKIN CARE -

DP­so­ri­a­sis is more than just a skin con­di­tion; it can have other se­ri­ous ramications. Read on...

oc­tors have known for years that pso­ri­a­sis is more than skin deep: Past stud­ies have as­so­ci­ated the in­flam­ma­tory dis­ease with a host of chronic med­i­cal prob­lems, in­clud­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. Pso­ri­a­sis is a painful, some­times dis­fig­ur­ing, con­di­tion that can cause a buildup of dead skin cells and dry, itchy red patches. A life­long con­di­tion, pso­ri­a­sis is con­sid­ered an au­toim­mune dis­or­der be­cause it’s caused by over­ac­tiv­ity in the im­mune sys­tem. This in­flames the skin and is also as­so­ci­ated with in­creased blood lev­els of C-re­ac­tive pro­tein – a marker of sys­temwide in­flam­ma­tion. Sys­temic in­flam­ma­tion has been con­nected to a va­ri­ety of med­i­cal prob­lems, in­clud­ing in­sulin re­sis­tance and atheroscle­ro­sis (hard­en­ing of the ar­ter­ies). A new anal­y­sis in ‘JAMA Der­ma­tol­ogy’ takes the as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween pso­ri­a­sis and sys­temic in­flam­ma­tion a step fur­ther. Re­searchers mea­sured the sever­ity of pso­ri­a­sis in more than 9,000 pa­tients, aged 25 to 64, along with the pres­ence and sever­ity of their co­ex­ist­ing ill­nesses, or med­i­cal co­mor­bidi­ties. They

found that the more se­vere their pso­ri­a­sis, the more likely pa­tients were to have co­mor­bidi­ties. The re­searchers de­ter­mined the sever­ity of pso­ri­a­sis by the size of the skin ar­eas af­fected; more than 10% was con­sid­ered se­vere; 3 to 10%, mod­er­ate; and less than 2%, mild. Over­all, re­searchers con­cluded that the risk as­so­ci­ated with hav­ing a se­ri­ous ill­ness in ad­di­tion to pso­ri­a­sis was: ✦ 11% in mild pso­ri­a­sis pa­tients. ✦ 15% in mod­er­ate pso­ri­a­sis pa­tients. ✦ 35% in se­vere pso­ri­a­sis pa­tients. But those num­bers don’t tell the en­tire story. When bro­ken down into spe­cific dis­eases, some per­cent­ages rise. For in­stance, peo­ple with se­vere pso­ri­a­sis have an 81% in­creased risk of de­vel­op­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and a 32% in­creased risk of di­a­betes. Co­mor­bidi­ties most com­monly as­so­ci­ated with pso­ri­a­sis in the study in­cluded: ✦ Other rheuma­to­logic dis­eases such as rheuma­toid arthri­tis. ✦ Chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­ease. ✦ Heart at­tack. ✦ Pe­riph­eral vas­cu­lar dis­ease. ✦ Type 2 di­a­betes.

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