Obesity and type 2 diabetes may be associated with inflammatory skin disease such as psoriasis, according to a new study.
Psoriasis is characterized by itchy, rough and red patches on the skin. The disease is persistent and long-lasting. It affects the knees, elbows, palms, and soles of the feet.
‘People with psoriasis -a chronic skin disease, may have a greater risk of high body mass index than those without psoriasis.’
The chronic skin condition has been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes by a team of Danish researchers. This finding is not new because previous studies have found a connection between the three conditions. But, the new research adds more evidence to support the study.
The study involved more than 33,000 twins. The researchers examined the health records of the subjects and found that 4.2% were suffering from psoriasis, 1.4% had diabetes, while 6.3% were obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 to 34.
The prevalence of psoriasis among the diabetic subjects was 7.6% compared to 4.1% among individuals without diabetes. The BMI of those individuals was also high who had both diabetes and psoriasis.
There were 720 twin pairs where one had psoriasis and the other did not. Twins with psoriasis had higher BMI and a higher prevalence of diabetes compared to those who do not have the skin disease.
The researchers believe that similar genetic makeup could be an underlying factor behind the existence of three conditions.
"Psoriasis is a complex disorder," said lead researcher Dr. Ann Sophie Lonnberg from the University of Copenhagen. "The genetic background of the disease and its much co-morbidities (co-existing conditions) have not yet been fully uncovered."
"The reason psoriasis and obesity are associated is not only due to a common lifestyle, but they are also associated due to common genes. It is important to treat psoriasis and obesity and diabetes, since they are risk factors for heart disease and could have serious effects on overall health."