Increased prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis

  • Dorothea M. Sommer
  • Stefan Jenisch
  • Michael Suchan
  • Enno Christophers
  • Michael WeichenthalEmail author
Original Paper


The role of chronic inflammation causing metabolic and vascular disorders is increasingly recognized. It is hypothesized that proinflammatory cytokines contribute to atherogenesis, peripheral insulin resistance, and the development of hypertension and type II diabetes. Psoriasis as a chronic inflammatory skin disorder is characterized by a variety of immunologic and inflammatory changes and may similarly predispose for those disorders. The objective of this study was to elucidate the association of psoriasis with chronic vascular and metabolic disorders. We investigated a total of 581 adult patients hospitalised for plaque type psoriasis as compared to 1,044 hospital-based controls. A distinct pattern of chronic disorders was found to be significantly associated with psoriasis, including diabetes mellitus type II [odds ratio (OR)=2.48], arterial hypertension (OR = 3.27), hyperlipedemia (OR = 2.09), and coronary heart disease (OR = 1.95). The combined presence of these conditions together with obesity, known as the metabolic syndrome, was clearly more prevalent in psoriasis patients (OR = 5.29). In addition, psoriasis patients were significantly more likely to be smokers (OR = 2.96) and to have a regular or heavy consumption of alcohol (OR = 3.33 and 3.61, respectively). In conclusion, psoriasis patients appear to be at higher risk for diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. This could likely be due to the effects of chronic inflammatory changes, in particular the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines. The risk of late term cardiovascular complications might support the use of systemic treatment in psoriasis.


Inflammation Clinical epidemiology Insulin resistance syndrome Comorbidity 



This work was supported by a German National Genome Research Network Grant (BMFT 01 GS 0171).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothea M. Sommer
    • 1
  • Stefan Jenisch
    • 2
  • Michael Suchan
    • 1
  • Enno Christophers
    • 1
  • Michael Weichenthal
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUniversity of KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Department of ImmunologyUniversity of KielKielGermany

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