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What Else Is Psoriatic Arthritis Linked To?

People with psoriatic arthritis often have psoriasis. They tend to have or get a few other diseases, too. 

There's no solid reason why these other conditions go hand in hand, and researchers are looking for the connection. It may be inflammation.

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Other Health Problems

More than a third of people with psoriatic arthritis have high blood pressure. Your doctor might call it hypertension. Your blood pushes harder than normal against the walls of your arteries, putting stress on them.

Some proteins related to inflammation may affect the fatty deposits, called plaque, that can build up inside blood vessels. Your heart has to work harder to move the blood. This can lead to heart disease and heart attacks.

Obesity is widespread in people with psoriatic arthritis. That's when you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.

Some medications that can treat psoriatic arthritis, such as corticosteroids, can lead to weight gain and heart disease. When you have a lot of pain and can't move easily, you probably don't like to exercise, and that can make it hard to stay at a healthy weight, too.

About 1 in 5 people with psoriatic arthritis also have diabetes, a life-long disease related to high blood sugar. Being obese puts you at risk for both. Some drugs that can treat psoriatic arthritis make you more likely to get diabetes, too.

Someone with psoriatic arthritis is also five times more likely to get gout.

What You Can Do

Work with your doctor to limit your chances of getting these conditions.

  • Keep your arthritis under control.
  • Get tested for diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
  • Exercise regularly. Ask your doctor how to do that safely.
  • Don't smoke.

Researchers are working on ways to treat and control psoriatic arthritis, taking into account the risks for other diseases. For example, one treatment may be better than another for someone who already has diabetes.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on May 20, 2015

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