Psoriasis sufferers are up to twice as likely to die early, new research reveals.
Patients with a severe form of the condition, defined as affected skin that covers more than 10 percent of their body, have nearly double the risk of passing away prematurely as those without the disorder, a study found.
Previous research has linked the scaly skin condition to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
Lead author Dr Megan Noe from the University of Pennsylvania, said: ‘By using body surface area (BSA), which we can evaluate in a patient’s clinical visit, we can better understand which patients are at highest risk for future medical problems and need preventative care.’
Psoriasis affects around two percent of people in the US and UK.
Psoriasis sufferers are up to twice as likely to die early, new research reveals (stock image)
WHAT IS PSORIASIS?
Psoriasis is an immune condition that occurs when a sufferer’s skin cells are replaced in just a few days rather than the usual 21 to 28 days.
This causes an accumulation of skin cells that build up to form raised plaques, which can be flaky, scaly, red and itchy.
Some sufferers have a family history of the condition.
Triggers for flare-ups include stress, certain medication, hormonal changes and skin injury.
There is no cure.
Treatment usually starts with topical creams and gels.
Source: Psoriasis Association
How the study was carried out
The researchers analyzed a UK database that identified 8,760 people with psoriasis and 87,600 without the condition.
A survey was sent to each of the patient’s doctors to determine the participant’s BSA affected by the disorder.
The psoriasis-afflicted participants were then divided into groups according to their symptom severity.
Over an average of four years, the researchers calculated the number of deaths occurring among everyone in the study.
Psoriasis is linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer
Results reveal that sufferers of severe psoriasis are nearly twice as likely to die early as those without the condition.
Dr Noe said: ‘By using BSA, which we can evaluate in a patient’s clinical visit, we can better understand which patients are at highest risk for future medical problems and need preventative care.’
The researchers did not speculate on why psoriasis is associated with passing away prematurely, however, past studies linked the condition to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
The findings were published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.