Psoriasis patients at greater risk of type 2 diabetes, study reveals
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine have discovered that people with psoriasis are more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, with more severe forms of the condition being linked to greater risk.
The team made the findings by surveying general practitioners via a UK database, utilising data from 8,124 psoriasis patients and 76,599 patients without the condition over the course of four years, adjusting samples to account for difference in risk factors, including age, sex and body mass index.
Specifically, the team found that patients whose body surface area (BSA) of their psoriasis was more than 10% were 64% more likely to develop diabetes than patients without the condition, independent of traditional risk factors such as weight. For every additional 10% after this initial 10%, the relative risk increased by another 20%,
The team postulate therefore that, given the global prevalence of psoriasis, this would mean that 125,650 new cases of diabetes would be attributed to psoriasis each year.
Also, in patients with a BSA of 2% or less, the risk of developing diabetes was found to be 21% higher than those without the condition.
“The type of inflammation seen in psoriasis is known to promote insulin resistance, and psoriasis and diabetes share similar genetic mutations suggesting a biological basis for the connection between the two conditions we found in our study,” explained the study’s senior author Joel M Gelfand, a professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology at Penn. “We know psoriasis is linked to higher rates of diabetes, but this is the first study to specifically examine how the severity of the disease affects a patient’s risk.”
Gelfand noted that the findings show “a strong connection between the increasing severity of psoriasis and the increasing risk of developing diabetes, which makes a strong argument for a causal relationship between the two,” adding that BSA of the condition should be routinely measured and at-risk patients targeted for diabetes prevention.
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