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