Ask the doctor: Does psoriasis raise diabetes risk?

Ask the doctor

Q. I have psoriasis, and I've been told I'm at increased risk for getting diabetes. Is that true?

A. It might seem surprising that a skin disease that causes raised plaques of white, scaling skin (psoriasis) would have anything to do with a disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood (diabetes). But there probably is a connection. Many observational studies, involving hundreds of thousands of people, have found that people with psoriasis are more likely to also suffer from diabetes (particularly type 2 diabetes, the most common type). In the famous Nurses' Health Study, based here at Harvard, people with psoriasis were more than 60% more likely than others to have diabetes.

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