- Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease characterized by itchy or sore
patches with silvery scales on the skin.
- Being obese may worsen the severity of psoriasis.
- Losing weight can reduce symptoms and improve the
quality of life in obese patients with psoriasis.
Weight loss may reduce
the symptoms and improve the quality of life in psoriasis patients, finds a new
study from Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, along with the University of
Copenhagen's Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports and other
The study findings were
published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
‘Obese patients with psoriasis can significantly reduce the symptoms and improve their quality of life by losing weight.’
is a condition that causes itchy or
sore patches of red skin with silvery scales. It is a chronic inflammatory
disease of the immune system. These patches may occur on the elbows, knees,
scalp, palms and face.
It may be caused due
to infections, stress, changes in the weather conditions and the use of certain
Link Between Obesity and Psoriasis
The research study was conducted
on 60 obese patients who were affected by psoriasis. These patients were found
to have lost 15 kilos over a period of 16 weeks while reducing the symptoms of
psoriasis and improving the quality of life.
After a follow-up of one
year, these patients lost 10 kilos from their starting weight, and were found
to improve psoriatic symptoms and maintain the quality of life.
Lone Skov, Professor and
Senior Physician, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Department of Dermatology and
Allergy, University of Copenhagen, said, "150,000 Danes suffer from
varying degrees of psoriasis."
Being overweight may
Professor Arne Astrup,
co-author of the study, University of Copenhagen's Department of Nutrition,
Exercise and Sports, said, "We know that both psoriasis and obesity
are linked with an increased
incidence of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and
diabetes. If we could get obese psoriasis patients to lose weight and keep the
weight off, we could potentially derive positive effects on their overall
health and quality of life as well."
Weight Loss May Improve
the Quality of Life
The previous research
study conducted in 2012 on obese patients with psoriasis had lost 10-15% of their weights. The study was able to reveal the tendency
to lose weight and reduced the severity of psoriasis.
The study also
demonstrated that weight loss could improve the quality of life among
Dr. Peter Jensen, senior
resident, Ph.D, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, said,
"When we revisited test subjects one year later, they had only regained
five kilos. Thus, they remained ten kilos beneath their starting weights. This
was impressive in and of itself, but it was even more positive that they had
maintained the effects of their initial weight loss with regards to the
diminished severity of their psoriasis and quality of life."
Facts on Psoriasis
- Around 7.5 million people in the United States suffer
- Plaque psoriasis is a common form of psoriasis that
affects 80 -90% of the psoriasis patients.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and
ulcerative colitis) found to be 3.8 to 7.5 times greater among psoriatic
- Around 40% of people with psoriasis have joint
inflammation and suffer from a condition called psoriatic arthritis.
- Psoriasis may have a notable impact on the
psychological and emotional well-being of the patient.
Obesity and Psoriasis
Inflammation is the main
link between obesity and psoriasis.
Obese patients are more
likely to experience adverse effects of medicines that are used for the
treatment of psoriasis. Being overweight may worsen the symptoms of psoriasis.
Professor Arne Astrup
concludes that, the importance of focusing on weight loss in obese patients
with psoriasis may significantly help to provide effective treatment options
for psoriasis. This move may also reduce the complications associated with
- P. Jensen et al. 'Long-term effects of weight reduction on the severity of psoriasis in a cohort derived from a randomized trial: a prospective observational follow-up study', American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; (2016). DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.115.125849
- What is psoriasis? - (https://www.cdc.gov/psoriasis/)
- Psoriasis - (https://www.aad.org/media/stats/conditions/psoriasis)
- Does Obesity Lead to Psoriasis? - (https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/associated-conditions/does-obesity-lead-to-psoriasis)