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Extremely obese children have higher prevalence of psoriasis, higher heart disease risk
Date:5/18/2011

May 18, 2011 (PASADENA, Calif.) Children who are overweight or obese have a significantly higher prevalence of psoriasis, and teens with psoriasis, regardless of their body weight, have higher cholesterol levels, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published online in the Journal of Pediatrics. The study findings suggest that higher heart disease risk for patients with psoriasis starts in childhood in the form of higher cholesterol levels.

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin that often starts early in life and, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, affects more than 7 million Americans.

"This study suggests a link between obesity and psoriasis in children," said study lead author Corinna Koebnick, PhD, a research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California's Department of Research & Evaluation in Pasadena, Calif. "But our study findings also suggest that the higher heart disease risk for patients with psoriasis starts in childhood in the form of higher cholesterol levels. We may need to monitor youth with psoriasis more closely for cardiovascular risk factors, especially if they are obese."

Researchers used electronic health records to study 710,949 racially and ethnically diverse children and found that obese children were almost 40 percent more likely to have psoriasis than normal weight children. Extremely obese children were almost 80 percent more likely to have psoriasis than normal weight children. Additionally, among youth with psoriasis, it was four times more likely that the psoriasis would be severe or more widespread in obese youth than what was seen in normal weight children. Additionally, teens with psoriasis had 4 to16 percent higher cholesterol levels and liver enzymes, regardless of their weight, than youth without this condition.

"Very little is known about psoriasis in children where the disease is mostly viewed and treated as a burdensome skin condi
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Contact: Danielle Cass
danielle.x.cass@kp.org
510-267-5354
Kaiser Permanente
Source:Eurekalert

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