"Psoriasis may also put children at risk for metabolic disease, as seen in adults, so studies such as these are extremely important in helping primary care providers learn the best way to care for these children," notes co-author Amy Porter, MD, Southern California Permanente Medical Group's regional physician lead for weight management, and pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente's Baldwin Park Medical Center.
Epidemiologic studies in adults have shown that patients with psoriasis are at a higher risk of developing metabolic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart attack and stroke. In adults, obesity has also been linked to a higher risk of developing psoriasis, and obesity, like psoriasis, is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
"Both conditions are characterized by a chronic low-level inflammation," notes Dr. Koebnick. "Yet, we know little to nothing about the metabolic risk of psoriasis, especially when combined with obesity in children." Psoriasis in children may increase blood cholesterol levels, and this may additionally be triggered by the presence of obesity. While the present study has limitations due to its cross-sectional design where both body weight and information on psoriasis were assessed at the same time, future studies based on this cohort will address these issues.
"It has been well described that adults with psoriasis have increased cardiovascular risk factors, but we have now examined these issues in children. As we follow these patients over 30-40 years, we will be able to determine if these increased cardiovascular risk factors in turn increase the risk for major adverse cardiac events," said study senior author, Jashin J. Wu, M.D., director of clinical research and the associate residency program, and director for the department of dermatology at Kaiser Permanente Los An
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