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Death risk almost doubles with severe psoriasis, study suggests

Adults whose psoriasis covers at least 10 percent of their body surface area are at almost twice the risk of early death than those without the disease, new research suggests.The study is believed to be the first to objectively measure how the severity of psoriasis might influence a patient's mortality.Lead author Dr. Megan H. Noe, of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues recently reported their results in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Psoriasis is a disease triggered by abnormal immune system activity that leads to an excess production of skin cells. As a result, skin cells build up, causing patches of thick, dry, scaly skin.The elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and the soles of feet are most commonly affected by psoriasis, but it can also affect other parts of the body, including the fingernails and toenails.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, psoriasis affects around  7.5 million people in the United States. Around 20 percent of these individuals have moderate to severe psoriasis, where the condition covers at least 5 percent of their body.Studies  have indicated that people with psoriasis are at greater risk of developing a host of other conditions, or comorbidities, including Cancer, depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver disease.For this latest study, Dr. Noe and colleagues sought to determine how the severity of psoriasis influences mortality risk.


Using BSA to measure psoriasis severity

The researchers came to their findings by analyzing information from a database in the United Kingdom, identifying 8,760 people with psoriasis and 87,600 people without the disease.Setting this study apart from previous research, the team sent surveys to the physician of each patient to determine the body surface area (BSA) affected by psoriasis. Subjects were divided into groups of psoriasis severity based on this information.

More in this category: « Eczema


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