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Skin link to diabetes

Tues April 21st, 2009

The skin disease psoriasis may be linked to diabetes and other health problems - at least for women, researchers reported last night.

One possibility is that the drugs people take for psoriasis cause other problems - but it is also possible the two diseases are linked.

An American study found that women with psoriasis have a 63 per cent increased of developing diabetes.

There was also a 17 per cent increased chance of having high blood pressure.

The findings come from a study of more than 78,000 nurses, reported in the Archives of Dermatology.

Some 1,800 suffered from psoriasis, Dr Abrar Qureshi,of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, reports.

The researchers said the link between the skin disease and diabetes and high blood pressure could be inflammation. The other possibility is that steroid treatment given for psoriasis may cause other diseases.

British experts said women should be reassured that diabetes and high blood pressure were not inevitable results of psoriasis.

Ellen Mason, a specialist heart nurse with the British Heart Foundation, said: "Further research is needed to fully understand the effect of an inflammatory condition like psoriasis on the inside of the body, and also whether treatment for psoriasis has any effect on the development of diabetes and high blood pressure. 

"As psoriasis is already a difficult, long term condition to endure, it is important to reassure people that there were many women with psoriasis that did not develop diabetes or high blood pressure during the course of the study."

Arch Dermatol. 2009;145[4]:379-382

Tags: UK News | Dermatology | Diabetes | Heart Health | Women’s Health & Gynaecology | North America

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