JAMA LogoPsoriasis is known to be a skin disease with lack of knowledge about its causes. Scientists declare that regular beer is linked to a heightened probability of developing psoriasis in women. It was mentioned that light beer or other types of alcohol did not reveal similar risks. Previously beer had been seemingly associated to greater chances of gout as compared to wine or spirits.

The study was initiated to shed light on the correlation between various types of alcohol and psoriasis risk. The experts thoroughly examined data gathered from 82,869 women aged 27 to 44 years in 1991. Participants enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II, had to fill in biennial questionnaires. These questionnaires asked the subjects about the amount and type of alcohol they consumed. They were also questioned if they were provided with diagnosis of psoriasis.

Abrar A. Qureshi, M.D., M.P.H., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, noted that through 2005, around 1,150 cases of psoriasis developed. Amongst these cases approximately 1,069 were taken into consideration for analysis. In comparison to women not consuming alcohol, the risk of psoriasis appeared to be 72 percent higher in women with an average of 2.3 drinks per week or more.

Experts elucidate, “Psoriasis is a common immune-mediated skin disease. The association between alcohol consumption and increased risk of psoriasis onset and psoriasis worsening has long been suspected. For example, individuals with psoriasis drink more alcohol than individuals without psoriasis, and alcohol intake may exacerbate psoriasis severity.”

After categorizing the beverages on the basis of their types, a correlation between non-light beer drinking and psoriasis was apparently discovered. This association was seemingly observed in women drinking five or more beers per week and they had a 1.8 times higher risk for this ailment. No such link was possibly noted in the consumption of light beer, red wine, white wine and liquor. Only after acquiring a confirmation of psoriasis, women were made to report more details about their condition on a seven-item self-assessment. Scientists considered a risk 2.3 times higher for psoriasis in women drinking five or more beers per week than women who did not drink beer.

Scientists share, “Non-light beer was the only alcoholic beverage that increased the risk for psoriasis, suggesting that certain non-alcoholic components of beer, which are not found in wine or liquor, may play an important role in new-onset psoriasis. One of these components may be the starch source used in making beer. Beer is one of the few non-distilled alcoholic beverages that use a starch source for fermentation, which is commonly barley.”

Psoriasis may reveal sensitivity towards gluten which is present in barley and other starches. Light beer is believed to have lower amounts of grain, than non-light beer. It is presumed that quantity of grain is the deciding factor for the association. So women with a high risk of psoriasis can possibly avoid drinking non-light beer in greater quantity. Investigators suggest the need for further analysis looking into the potential mechanisms of non-light beer inducing new-onset psoriasis.

The study is available online and will be published in the December print issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.