Health Conditions Associated with Psoriasis (Co-morbidities)
Individuals with psoriasis are at an elevated risk of developing other chronic and serious health conditions - also known as "comorbid diseases" or "comorbidities." These include heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes. People with more severe cases of psoriasis have an increased incidence of psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, depression, obesity, and other immune-related conditions such as Crohn's diseaseii.
10-30 percent of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritisxii, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints.
Studies have shown psoriasis patients have an increased risk of cardiovascular diseasexii, especially those with severe psoriasis in their 40s and 50s. Psoriasis patients should examine their modifiable risk factors - for example, quit smoking, reduce stress, decrease their sodium intake and maintain a healthy weight.
Psoriasis is associated with lack of self-esteem and increased prevalence of mood disorders including depression.The prevalence of depression in patients with psoriasis may be as high as 60%.xii
A number of studies have found an increased risk of certain types of cancer in psoriasis patients, such as a form of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma and lymphoma. In some instances, these cancers have been associated with specific psoriasis treatments which suppress the immune system.xii Patients should follow recommended regular health screenings for cancer and avoid high risk behaviors.