JAMA Logo Patients suffering from psoriasis face greater risk of metabolic syndrome, or at least the following tidbit suggests so. A latest study asserts that those diagnosed with psoriasis have a high prevalence of the metabolic syndrome. Apparently metabolic syndrome is characterized with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and high total cholesterol as well as triglycerides.

In order to understand the association between psoriasis and the metabolic syndrome, experts examined 6,549 individuals with an average age of 39 years. While half the participants were men, the mean BMI was 28. 40 percent subjects with psoriasis reporting features of the metabolic syndrome were compared with 23 percent controls. 63 percent of individuals with psoriasis reported abdominal obesity as the most common feature of the metabolic syndrome. High triglyceride levels appeared among 44 percent and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or ‘good’ cholesterol in 34 percent psoriasis patients.

Investigators conclude, “In conclusion, these findings from a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults show a doubling in the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among patients with psoriasis independent of age, sex, race/ethnicity and C-reactive protein levels. Given its associated serious complications, this co-morbidity needs to be recognized and taken into account when treating individuals with psoriasis.”

High triglyceride levels are considered appropriate at or above 150 milligrams per deciliter. On the other hand, low HDL levels may be defined as less than 40 milligrams per deciliter in men and less than 50 milligrams per deciliter for women. Thorvardur Jon Love, M.D., of Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland, and colleagues were unable to observe any elements of the metabolic syndrome in 28 percent of individuals without psoriasis and 13 percent having psoriasis.

The study is published online and will appear in the April 2011 print issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.