Psoriasis patients have high diabetes risk

Published on October 19, 2012 at 9:15 AM · No Comments

By Helen Albert, Senior medwireNews Reporter

People with psoriasis have an increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes compared with people without the skin condition, suggest results from a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Archives of Dermatology.

The researchers found that the risk for diabetes was significantly increased in all patients with psoriasis compared with the general population, but was higher in people with a severe rather than mild version of the condition.

"Our investigation found a clear association between psoriasis and diabetes," said lead researcher April Armstrong (University of California, Sacramento, USA) in a press statement.

"Patients with psoriasis and their physicians need to be aware of the increased risk of developing diabetes so that patients can be screened regularly and benefit from early treatment," she added.

Overall, 27 observational studies were included in the meta-analysis. To be included, studies had to assess the risk for diabetes in conjunction with psoriasis and compare patients with psoriasis (n=293,422) with a control group (n=3,634,761).

In studies evaluating prevalence (n=22), psoriasis was associated with a significant 59% increased risk for diabetes versus controls and in those assessing incidence (n=5) a 27% increased risk.

When divided according to disease severity, patients with mild psoriasis had a significant 53% increased risk for diabetes and those with severe psoriasis a 97% increased risk versus controls.

"The large sample size and consistent association between psoriasis and diabetes make these study findings very strong and suggest an underlying physiological link between the two diseases," said Armstrong.

The researchers suggest that the increased risk for diabetes associated with psoriasis may be due to the shared autoimmune origin of the two disorders.

"There is evidence that fat cells in psoriasis patients may not function normally. These cells secrete inflammatory substances known as cytokines that increase insulin resistance in the liver and muscle and initiate destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas," explained Armstrong.

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