Childhood Obesity Linked to Psoriasis

Cardiovascular risk factors significantly higher in adolescents with psoriasis

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Obese children are significantly more likely to have psoriasis than their normal-weight peers, and may have increased levels of cardiovascular risk factors, according to a study published online April 29 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Corinna Koebnick, Ph.D., from Southern California Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, and colleagues investigated the association between obesity, cardiovascular risk factors, and psoriasis in children aged 2 to 19 years in a population-based, cross-sectional study. Weight, height, laboratory data, and psoriasis diagnosis were collected from the electronic medical records of 710,949 children enrolled in an integrated health plan. Children were classified for weight according to their body mass index (BMI) based on their age.

The investigators found that the likelihood of psoriasis increased with increasing weight (odds ratio [OR], 0.68 for underweight, 1.00 for normal, 1.31 for overweight, 1.39 for moderately obese, and 1.78 for extremely obese). The likelihood of psoriasis treated with phototherapy or systemic therapy being indicative of severe or widespread psoriasis also increased significantly with increasing weight (OR, 0.00 for underweight, 1.00 for normal, 2.78 for overweight, 2.93 for moderately obese, and 4.19 for extremely obese). After adjusting for BMI, the mean total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and alanine aminotransferase were significantly higher in adolescents with psoriasis than in adolescents without psoriasis.

"Overweight and obesity are associated with higher odds of psoriasis in youths. Independent of body weight, adolescent patients with psoriasis have higher blood lipids. These data suggest that pediatricians and dermatologists should screen youths with psoriasis for cardiovascular disease risk factors," the authors write.

Two of the study authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

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