Researchers explore psoriasis-diabetes link
The condition increases type 2 diabetes risk.
People with psoriasis suffer from chronic patches of irritated, flaky skin. A new study finds that psoriasis may also put people at risk for another chronic disease: type 2 diabetes. A recent study in Archives of Dermatology found a strong correlation between the two. "Both diseases are driven by inflammation," says Dr. Jeffrey Sobell, a dermatologist at Harvard-affiliated New England Baptist Hospital who's considered an international authority on psoriasis. "The same cells that trigger the inflammation of psoriasis are also associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes."
But psoriasis isn't just linked to diabetes. Because it's a systemwide inflammatory disease, Dr. Sobell says there's a correlation to other inflammation-sensitive conditions such as arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
So does this mean that people with psoriasis should ask their physicians about more frequent screenings for other conditions? "I counsel all of my psoriatic patients, particularly those who have moderate to severe psoriasis, to be followed closely by their primary care physician (or cardiologist if applicable) for cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance. The frequency of lab testing will likely vary patient to patient, but at a minimum, yearly blood pressure checks and laboratory assessment of blood sugar and fats are advised."