Obese Children have Higher Prevalance of Psoriasis

obesity psoriasisA Kaiser Permanente study finding that children a higher incidence of psoriasis is found in children who are overweight or obese. The study also indicates that teens with psoriasis, regardless of their body weight, have higher cholesterol levels.  Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease and the National Psoriasis Foundation estimates that this condition affects seven million Americans.

The researchers looked at the health records of 710,949 diverse children. According to a Science Daily article, the study’s key findings were:

  • Obese children were almost 40 percent more likely to have psoriasis than normal weight children.
  • Extremely obese children were almost 80 percent more likely to have psoriasis than normal weight children.
  • Among youth with psoriasis, it was four times more likely that the psoriasis would be severe or more widespread in obese youth than what was seen in normal weight children.
  • Teens with psoriasis had 4 to 16 percent higher cholesterol levels and liver enzymes, regardless of their weight, than youth without this condition.

The study co-author, Amy Porter, MD, of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, notes that “Psoriasis may also put children at risk for metabolic disease, as seen in adults, so studies such as these are extremely important in helping primary care providers learn the best way to care for these children.” Moreover, this study indicates that there may be a link between obesity and psoriasis in children.  It shows that heart disease risk for patients with psoriasis begins during childhood in the form of higher cholesterol levels, indicating that it may be beneficial to monitor obese youth with psoriasis more closely for cardiovascular risk factors.

You can read ScienceDaily’s article here.


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