Individuals with psoriasis have a high prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, according to a report posted online that appeared in the April 2011 print issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Other names for Metabolic Syndrome include; Dysmetabolic syndrome, Hypertriglyceridemic waist, Insulin resistance syndrome, Obesity syndrome, Syndrome X. Metabolic syndrome is considered to be a cluster of conditions such as increased blood pressure, excess waist or belly fat, high blood sugar level, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels, that occur together, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. In the US about a quarter of the adult population have metabolic syndrome, and the prevalence increases with age, with racial and ethnic minorities being particularly affected. The cause of the syndrome is an area of ongoing medical research.
According to background information in the article, individual features of the metabolic syndrome include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and high total cholesterol and triglycerides.
Additional background information notes that while past studies have suggested a link between psoriasis and individual components of the metabolic syndrome, there is little data available regarding the association between psoriasis and the metabolic syndrome as a whole.
Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Thorvardur Jon Love, M.D., of Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland, and colleagues, examined the association between psoriasis and the metabolic syndrome.
The study included 6,549 individuals, and the mean (average) age of participants was 39, half were men and the mean body mass index (BMI) was 28.
Overall, 40 percent of individuals with psoriasis also had features of the metabolic syndrome, compared with 23 percent among controls.
The most common feature of the metabolic syndrome among individuals with psoriasis was abdominal obesity (63 percent), followed by high triglyceride levels (44 percent) and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or "good" cholesterol (34 percent).
High triglyceride levels are defined as at or above 150 milligrams per deciliter, and low HDL levels are defined as less than 40 milligrams per deciliter in men and less than 50 milligrams per deciliter in women.
No elements of the metabolic syndrome were found in 28 percent of individuals without psoriasis compared with 13 percent of those with psoriasis.
"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," the authors write.
"Given its associated serious complications, this comorbidity needs to be recognized and taken into account when treating individuals with psoriasis," they conclude.
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