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Psoriasis - Are you at risk?

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21 Aug, 2018

Having psoriasis may put you at a risk for many other conditions. As these co-morbidities include multiple organs, it is recommended that you receive appropriate and early treatment for psoriasis and its co-morbid conditions to manage and improve long-term outcomes. 


The other conditions that might co-occur with psoriasis are as follows: 


Psoriatic arthritis: Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) affects approximately 30% of patients with psoriasis. PsA is a chronic inflammatory joint disease reported in people with psoriasis. It is an autoimmune condition that may demonstrate joint pain, swelling, and stiffness with or without a skin problem. It is defined by the absence of rheumatic factor in the serum. The skin disease most commonly precedes the joint disease by about a decade, ranging from 7 to 12 years.


Cardiovascular disease and diabetes: According to observational and population studies, it has been found that psoriasis is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes  and metabolic syndrome. With psoriasis, there is an increased risk of developing severe vascular events such as heart attack and stroke. Patients may even suffer from hypertension, dyslipidemia (elevated levels of plasma cholesterol, triglycerides or both) and obesity.


Malignancy: Patients with psoriasis may be at risk of suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma and cutaneous T cell lymphoma.


Psychiatric illness: Psychiatric illnesses comprising of depression and anxiety, can also commonly accompany psoriasis. When compared to the patients with ischemic heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes mellitus, the physical, emotional and social impact of psoriasis on quality of life is comparable and sometimes even worse. It is not necessary that your disease severity is related to psychological and emotional status. However, controlling the disease can affect the course of depression. Thus, psychosocial aspects must be considered while choosing the right drug.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) describes two conditions i.e. ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are both long-term conditions resulting from an inflammation of the gut. Ulcerative colitis affects only the large intestine whereas Crohn's disease is capable of affecting any part of the digestive system i.e. from the mouth to the anus. In patients with CD, there is a 7-times higher risk of developing psoriasis whereas the psoriasis patients have a 2.9-times higher risk of developing CD when compared with the general population.