Psoriasis Linked to Heart Disease, Cancer
Studies Also Show Link to Increased Risk of Diabetes and Depression
WebMD News Archive
Psoriasis and Cancer continued...
Over an average period of about two-and-one-half years, 34.8% of people with
psoriasis were diagnosed with cancer. In contrast, only 23.2% of those without
the skin condition developed cancer. That translated to a 56% higher risk of
cancer for people with psoriasis, the researchers report.
As for types of cancer, people with psoriasis had a 75% higher risk for skin
cancer, 87% higher risk for lymphoma, and 22% higher risk for prostate cancer,
the study showed.
Some of the treatments used for psoriasis may have increased their risk of
skin cancer, says Alan Menter, MD, chair of the psoriasis research unit at
Baylor Research Institute in Dallas. But the link to the other cancers can't be
explained by therapy, he says.
Psoriasis Linked to Obesity, Depression
The list of medical conditions associated with psoriasis doesn't end there,
Among others, he tells WebMD, are obesity, Crohn's disease, diabetes,
depression, sexual dysfunction, arthritis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary
In addition, studies have shown that people with psoriasis tend to drink and
smoke a lot, Menter says. Detrimental behaviors can aggravate some conditions
associated with psoriasis, such as heart disease and COPD, he says.
According to Ahlehoff, the underlying inflammation that drives the
development of psoriasis appears to predispose people to cardiovascular
disease, which also is thought to be fueled by inflammation.
But in the case of the other medical conditions, "we are unsure whether
psoriasis causes other diseases or that these other diseases cause psoriasis,"
The important thing is that people with psoriasis undergo a thorough health
evaluation, he says.