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Oct 18 (Reuters) - Patients with psoriasis had anywhere from an equal risk to an almost four-fold higher risk of developing diabetes than those without the skin condition, according to a review of more than two dozen studies from around the world.
Past research has also suggested psoriasis is tied to a higher chance of having heart disease or suffering a heart attack or stroke, while a study of more than 500,000 people in the UK also linked severe psoriasis with a 46 percent increased risk of diabetes.
For the review, which appeared in the Archives of Dermatology, April Armstrong from the University of California, Davis, and her colleagues combined the results of 27 past observational studies and found that people with psoriasis were 59 percent more likely to have diabetes than "control" participants.
In particular, those with severe psoriasis were almost twice as likely to have the blood sugar disorder.
"Psoriasis is associated with an increased prevalence and incidence of diabetes," Armstrong and her colleagues wrote. "The association of psoriasis with diabetes may be strongest among patients with severe psoriasis."
Among the five studies that tracked diabetes-free people over time, those with psoriasis were 27 percent more likely to develop it than study participants without psoriasis, the researchers said.
Some researchers believe the chronic, body-wide inflammation behind psoriasis may also be responsible for increasing a person's risk of diabetes, as well as heart disease and stroke. But how exactly that works still isn't clear, said Jashin Wu, who has studied the link between psoriasis and other diseases at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.
In addition, people with psoriasis tend to be heavier, more depressed and less physically active, on average, than those without the condition, which could add to their underlying diabetes risk. SOURCE: bit.ly/P7iw7G (Reporting from New York by Genevra Pittman at Reuters Health; editing by Elaine Lies)