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Psoriasis risk linked to hypertension in women

By jeremyc | June 25, 2014

A new study has suggested that the risk of psoriasis (a skin condition) in women suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure is greater if they have had hypertension for over six years.

Psoriasis is a condition that is considered to be linked to the immune system and is characterized by skin becoming chronically flaky, itchy and red. This particular study was led by Shaowei Wu, MD, PhD, of the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. The authors said that high blood pressure in women has been linked to increased psoriasis in previous studies as well.

For this study, the researchers wanted to explore this link further and whether beta-blockers, a certain type of hypertension medication, were associated. Heath information on 77,728 female nurses in the US from the 1996-2008 Nurses’ Health Study was used for this study.

Among the study participants, 29,831 hypertension cases and 843 psoriasis cases were identified. On analysis, it was found that women who had hypertension for six years or greater had 1.27 times greater risk of psoriasis than those women without high blood pressure. The risk was higher irrespective of whether the hypertensive patients were on medication.

The researchers also found a 1.39 times greater risk of psoriasis among hypertensive women who were regularly using beta-blockers for six or more years. They wrote, “These findings provide novel insights into the association among hypertension, antihypertensive medications and psoriasis. However, further work is necessary to confirm our findings and clarify the biological mechanisms that underlie these associations.”

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