Skip to content

    Psoriasis Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Psoriasis Linked to Hypertension, Diabetes

    Study Shows Women With Psoriasis Have Greater Risk of Hypertension and Diabetes
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    April 20, 2009 -- Women who have the chronic skin condition psoriasis appear to be at higher risk of getting diabetes and high blood pressure, a new study shows.

    "We knew there was some association between psoriasis and diabetes and high blood pressure," says Abrar Qureshi, MD, MPH, assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School and a dermatologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. "The question was, which came first."

    In the study, he tells WebMD, "We were able to show women with psoriasis had a higher risk of developing diabetes and hypertension."

    The study is published in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

    Qureshi and colleagues studied 78,061 women who participated in the Nurses' Health Study II, a long-running study that first collected data in 1989 from more than 116,000 women (all registered nurses) and followed up with questionnaires about their health every two years.

    All were free of diabetes and high blood pressure at the study's start. In 2005, the women reported whether they had ever gotten a diagnosis of psoriasis from a doctor. After excluding the women who already had diabetes or hypertension, the researchers focused on 78,061 women, including 1,813 with a diagnosis of psoriasis.

    Psoriasis affects up to 3% of the population, according to the researchers. Five types occur, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, with different symptoms and signs. The most common is plaque psoriasis, marked by itchy patches of red, raised skin covered by a silvery-white scale that shows up most often on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.

    Psoriasis and the Link With Hypertension and Diabetes

    The researchers followed the women who had a diagnosis of psoriasis for 14 years to determine if those were more likely to develop diabetes and high blood pressure.

    The results: the women who had psoriasis were 63% more likely to get diabetes and 17% more likely to get high blood pressure.

    This was true even after accounting for such factors that could boost the risks of the other conditions, such as obesity and smoking status.

    "We were surprised to see the numbers so high, especially for diabetes," Qureshi says.

    Today on WebMD

    Woman sitting in front of UV lights
    About 7.5 million people in the U.S. Get the facts.
    stress and psoriasis
    What might spark your psoriasis today?
     
    woman bathing
    Slideshow: Home Remedies For Psoriasis
    woman applying lotion
    It starts in the immune system. Read on.
     
    Top Psoriasis Treatments To Try At Home
    Article
    Woman sitting in front of UV lights
    Slideshow
     
    Beware Miracle Diets For Psoriasis
    Article
    Psoriasis Laser Therapy
    Video
     
    10 Questions About Psoriasis To Ask Your Doctor
    Article
    psoriasis on elbow
    Article
     
    Psoriasis (Moderate to Severe)
    Article
    Psoriatic Arthritis Do You Know The Symptoms
    Article