Dr. Joel Gelfand, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and his colleagues reported that the amount of skin surface affected by Psoriasis helps to determine a person’s risk for Psoriasis related diseases.

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The researchers looked at electronic medical records from the UK for 9,035 psoriasis patients whose illness severity had been determined by how much of their skin surface area was affected by psoriasis.

Overall, the risk for any other type of serious illness was 11 percent higher for people with mild psoriasis than for their counterparts in the comparison group, 15 percent higher for patients with moderate psoriasis and 35 percent higher for those with severe psoriasis.

Patients with moderate psoriasis were 22 percent more likely to have diabetes than people without the skin condition, for example, while those with severe psoriasis had a 32 percent increased risk of diabetes.

Moderate psoriasis also conferred a 36 percent increased risk of diabetes with complications such as eye disease, while severe psoriasis conferred an 87 percent higher risk.

Moderate and severe psoriasis increased the risk of cardiovascular disease by 39 percent and 81 percent, respectively.

People with psoriasis are known to have more inflammation in their blood vessels, which probably accounts for some of their increased risk of other illnesses, Gelfand said.

For now, he added, the new findings show that people with psoriasis should take extra care to maintain their health. “If you have mild psoriasis, your risk of these other conditions is quite low when it comes down to it, but it’s still a warning sign and a reminder that it’s important to undergo preventative health examinations,” Gelfand said.

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