August 12, 2009

Those with psoriasis at risk for disease

People with psoriasis may also be at risk for developing other serious medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes and obesity, U.S. researchers say.

A study of 5,000 psoriasis patients by the National Psoriasis Foundation found nearly two-thirds report having at least one other critical health problem. Psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease that has no cure, appears on the skin most often as red scaly patches that itch and bleed.

The patient survey indicates:

-- Nearly 70 percent of people with psoriasis are overweight or obese.

-- 33 percent have high blood pressure.

-- 28 percent have another chronic, inflammatory disease such as lupus, Crohn's disease or multiple sclerosis.

-- 24 percent have high cholesterol.

-- 11 percent have diabetes.

Psoriasis is a very serious condition that impacts the body well beyond the skin, Dr. Mark Lebwohl of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and chairman of the National Psoriasis Foundation Medical Board said in a statement. Like any patient with a chronic disease, people with psoriasis must see their doctor regularly and adopt a healthy lifestyle to lessen their risk of developing another serious disease.

No survey details were provided.