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Psoriasis Linked to Multiple Comorbidities

Consensus statement urges providers to alert patients to increased systemic, behavioral risks

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with psoriasis are likely to have comorbidities that should be assessed by their primary health care providers and addressed with health screening tests, preventative exams and referrals, according to a clinical consensus statement from the National Psoriasis Foundation published in April in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Alexa B. Kimball, M.D., of the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues reviewed recent literature showing the links between psoriasis and many different systemic and behavioral comorbidities.

The researchers found that severe psoriasis, in particular, is associated with an increased incidence of psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes and other immune-related conditions such as Crohn's disease. They also found an association between psoriasis and depression, smoking and alcohol abuse.

"At the very least, dermatologists -- who may be the only health care provider for psoriasis patients -- must alert these patients to the potentially negative effects of their disease as it relates to other aspects of their health," the authors conclude.

Several of the study authors report financial relationships to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Physician's Briefing