Psoriasis and Co-Morbidities

Sometimes co-morbidities may reflect a common underlying mechanism that manifests itself via different illnesses in a person. However, it is rarely that straight forward, which is why some research may seem counter-intuitive at a first glance. One area that has produced particularly fruitful outcomes in terms of research is the area of psoriasis and its potential relationship to other diseases.

Recently, a study published in Dermatology found a dose-response relationship between the percentage of body surface affected by psoriasis and diseases such as COPD, diabetes and peripheral vascular disease. The study was quite substantial, as it surveyed GPs that treated 9035 patients with psoriasis. A little more than half of them (52%) presented with mild disease, followed by 36% who presented with moderate diseases and 12 % who presented with severe disease. The patient’s condition was deemed severe when the psoriasis covered ten per cent or more of their body surface. 

Some of the findings such as the link between diabetes and psoriasis were to be expected. However, other findings such as the direct association between psoriasis and kidney disease and vascular disease were rather surprising. Perhaps the most interesting finding was the suggestion that the more severe psoriasis in an individual, the more likely that person was to have co-morbidities. As a result of this, the researchers suggested that it would be important for future research not to consider psoriasis as a disease that is only related to skin and joints.

We were not surprised to hear about these findings, as it is an area of research that has been expanding quite a bit recently. However, we cannot help but wish that clinical implications had been discussed as well. This discussion would have been particularly valuable in conjunction with the publication of the current NICE guidelines for treatment of psoriasis. Nevertheless, we are glad that the potential role of psoriasis in serious conditions is given due attention. 

Sometimes co-morbidities may reflect a common underlying mechanism that manifests itself via different illnesses in a person. However, it is rarely that straight forward, which is why some research may seem counter-intuitive at a first glance. One area that has produced particularly fruitful outcomes in terms of research is the area of psoriasis and its potential relationship to other diseases.

Recently, a study published in Dermatology found a dose-response relationship between the percentage of body surface affected by psoriasis and diseases such as COPD, diabetes and peripheral vascular disease. The study was quite substantial, as it surveyed GPs that treated 9035 patients with psoriasis. A little more than half of them (52%) presented with mild disease, followed by 36% who presented with moderate diseases and 12 % who presented with severe disease. The patient’s condition was deemed severe when the psoriasis covered ten per cent or more of their body surface. 

Some of the findings such as the link between diabetes and psoriasis were to be expected. However, other findings such as the direct association between psoriasis and kidney disease and vascular disease were rather surprising. Perhaps the most interesting finding was the suggestion that the more severe psoriasis in an individual, the more likely that person was to have co-morbidities. As a result of this, the researchers suggested that it would be important for future research not to consider psoriasis as a disease that is only related to skin and joints.

We were not surprised to hear about these findings, as it is an area of research that has been expanding quite a bit recently. However, we cannot help but wish that clinical implications had been discussed as well. This discussion would have been particularly valuable in conjunction with the publication of the current NICE guidelines for treatment of psoriasis. Nevertheless, we are glad that the potential role of psoriasis in serious conditions is given due attention. 

You can read more about psoriasis here: http://www.patient.co.uk/health/psoriasis