Oct 16, 2014 11:37 PM EDT
People who develop thick, scaly, and oftentimes itchy or sore patches on their skin are known to have Psoriasis. It is a chronic skin condition caused by an overactive immune system, with symptoms which include flaking, inflammation, and thick, white, silvery, or red patches of skin, according to WebMD.
Medical News Today said that those with psoriasis usually suffer from obesity, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and other cardiovascular risk factors. Evidence is also suggesting that severe psoriasis is associated with increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death from heart disease.
The condition affects around 4 per cent of the world's population, and a recent study published in the JAMA Dermatology found that people with moderate to severe psoriasis have an increased risk for uncontrolled high blood pressure, compared to those without the skin condition.
Consequently, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia conducted a study to know if there is a link between the severity of psoriasis and the severity of high blood pressure among patients who have both conditions, and if psoriasis influences high blood pressure of those afflicted by both.
The research team examined data on 1,322 patients with both psoriasis and high blood pressure, and 11,977 patients with high blood pressure but no psoriasis.
The results showed a "dose-response relationship" between uncontrolled high blood pressure and psoriasis severity, meaning the more severe a person's psoriasis is, the more likely they are to have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
According to MNT, uncontrolled high blood pressure in the study was defined as a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher, measured in a clinical setting.
The researchers underscored the importance of the findings in the medical world as they said:
"Adding to the currently limited understanding of the effects of comorbid disease on [high blood pressure], our findings have important clinical implications, suggesting a need for more effective management of blood pressure in patients with psoriasis, especially those with more extensive skin involvement (greater than or equal to 3% of body surface area affected)."
The researchers also took into account other possible factors such as age, sex, body mass index, lifestyle, and other existing health conditions.
According to MNT, some limitations of the study are that it was unable to show conclusively whether psoriasis severity influences blood pressure or whether blood pressure status influences the severity of psoriasis; and that the diagnoses of uncontrolled high blood pressure might have been made from single blood pressure measurements, rather than an aggregate of several blood pressure measurements.
The study also reported that patients both with and without psoriasis were equally likely to be receiving treatment for high blood pressure, and that the likelihood of treatment was not influenced by the severity of psoriasis.
With the trailblazing results of the study, and the identified limitations of the research, the authors admitted that more studies are needed to further investigate the effect of chronic inflammatory diseases like psoriasis on high blood pressure.
Do you think this study has helped you understand psoriasis and its connection with high blood pressure? Does your experience, if you have both psoriasis and high blood pressure, support the findings of the research? Write a comment below and do let us know.
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