Related Conditions of Psoriasis

People with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are at an elevated risk of developing a comorbidity. A comorbidity is a disease or condition that occurs because of or is related to a health condition that you have, such as psoriasis.

 
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Health Conditions Linked to Psoriasis

It is important to visit your primary care provider regularly to screen for these diseases because you may not notice or feel symptoms for some of these health conditions. In addition, if some of these conditions are caught early, they can be easily treated with lifestyle changes or medications.

Evidence shows that people who treat their psoriasis effectively can also lower the risk of other comorbidities.

In 2019, the National Psoriasis Foundation and the American Academy of Dermatology published guidelines on the treatment of psoriasis with attention to comorbidities. The guidelines state the following health conditions as comorbidities of psoriasis.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) causes swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints and in areas where tendons and ligaments connect to bone. PsA is the most common comorbidity of psoriasis. An estimated 30 to 33 percent of people living with psoriasis also experience PsA.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease (also known as heart disease) refers to numerous conditions including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, arrythmia (irregular heart rhythm) and heart valve problems.

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome refers to the presence of increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat and abnormal cholesterol levels, which increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Obesity

Obesity is a complex chronic disease involving genetic and environmental factors. Obesity is defined as too much body fat (especially around the waist) that presents a health risk. Obesity may increase the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Body Mass Index (BMI) uses a person’s height and weight to determine obesity. A person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered to have obesity.

Hypertension

Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure, which refers to the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. Hypertension is very common and increases the risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Dyslipidemia

Dyslipidemia refers to the consistent high levels of cholesterol and other lipids (also called fats) in the blood. Dyslipidemia may increase risk of cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (also called insulin resistance) refers to cells in the body that do not respond normally to insulin. Normally insulin works to let blood sugar into the cells in the body to use as energy. Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, vision loss and kidney disease.

Anxiety and Depression

People with anxiety disorders often struggle with intense feelings of anxiety, worry, fear and/or panic. Anxiety can interfere with daily activities and may last a long time. People with depression experience a persistent sad mood that lasts a long time and interferes with daily activities.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to conditions characterized by inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Cancer

Cancer describes diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and may spread into nearby tissue. There are more than 100 types of cancers and are often named after the area in the body where the cancer forms.

Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are damaged or cannot filter blood as well as normal kidneys. As a result, extra fluid and waste from the blood stay in the body and may lead to other health problems.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. This happens when the muscles in the throat relax, blocking the airway. Learn more about healthy sleeping habits by requesting our free guide.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease refers to a group of diseases that cause breathing-related problems and airflow blockage.

Uveitis

Uveitis refers to inflammation in the eye which affects the middle layer of tissue in the eye wall (uvea). Symptoms include eye redness, pain and blurred vision and symptoms may come on suddenly and progress quickly.

Hepatic (liver) Disease

Hepatic disease refers to inflammation of the liver that disrupts the liver’s function and which can lead to permanent kidney damage.

Comorbidities Fact Sheet

Learn more about comorbidities and ways to lower your risk.

Get our free fact sheet

Last updated on 10/08/20 by the National Psoriasis Foundation.

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