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What conditions are associated with psoriasis

Conditions Associated with Psoriasis

Most cases of psoriasis can be controlled, and most people who have psoriasis live regular lives.

Sometimes, having a chronic illness may increase the risk of developing other chronic conditions. Psoriasis, for example, has been associated with a higher risk of developing other conditions, or comorbidities.

It is important to let your family physician, specialist, or nurse practitioner know about any concerns you may have and be sure to discuss prevention and screening for associated conditions with them.

  • Psoriatic arthritis (PsA), the inflammation of joints and connective tissue, may develop in up to 30% of patients with psoriasis. Together, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are known as psoriatic disease.
  • PsA has the potential to cause a significant impact on day-to-day function.
  • It is important to get PsA diagnosed early to prevent further damage to the joints.
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  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a broad term describing chronic inflammation of the digestive tract and includes forms such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Like psoriasis, IBD is also linked to a maladaptive immune system response as the cause of bowel inflammation.
  • Patients with psoriasis may be at three times higher risk of developing IBD compared to the general population.
  • Uveitis is the inflammation of the eye, and in patients with psoriasis, uveitis is likely immune-mediated.
  • Around 40% of uveitis cases are caused by, or secondary to, an existing immune-mediated disease such as psoriasis.
  • Warning signs include eye redness, pain, or blurry vision and should be promptly assessed by an ophthalmologist.
  • Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) include conditions such as stroke, coronary artery disease, and deep vein thrombosis, which are all caused by pathologies in the heart and blood vessels.
  • Although psoriasis is linked to an increased risk or aggravation of CVD, early detection and simple interventions such as lifestyle improvements and pharmacological aid (if needed) are extremely effective for improving health outcomes.
  • Metabolic syndrome (MS) includes having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and excess abdominal fat, which all increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • There is increasing evidence that the risk of developing features of MS is doubled in patients with severe psoriasis.
  • Diabetes is a disorder of high blood sugar levels due to problems with insulin.
  • Chronically raised blood sugar will damage organ and blood vessels leading to further complications.
  • With lifestyle modifications, early detection and pharmacologic treatment (if necessary), blood sugar levels can be controlled to minimize diabetes complications.
  • Patients with psoriasis at risk for poor mental health.
  • Up to 30% and 60% of patients with psoriasis may develop anxiety or depression, respectively, over the course of the disease.
  • With the visibility and chronic features of psoriasis, psoriasis may have a negative impact on self-esteem and quality of life.

While suffering from psoriasis may not always be in one’s control, learning how to cope with this difficult condition is. If needed, seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness, but rather is an integral part for the holistic treatment of psoriasis.