Exercise has also been associated with reducing the risk of other diseases associated with inflammation, including type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, coronary artery disease and breast cancer, the researchers noted.
There are limitations to the study, Qureshi said.
"It is possible that women who engaged in vigorous exercise live healthy lives in general and other factors associated with healthy living may actually be associated with lowered psoriasis risk," he said.
To address this concern, the researchers adjusted for known psoriasis risk factors and the association remained statistically significant, Qureshi said.
Dr. Lawrence Green, a spokesman for the National Psoriasis Foundation, commented that "this study certainly adds on to recent research over the past several years about risk factors for more severe psoriasis and ways an individual with psoriasis can help manage their disease in addition to dermatologist-prescribed treatment."
This study adds to the accumulated body of evidence that "how we live our lives can play a role in how bad our psoriasis can become," he said.
"We have recently become aware that smoking, high alcohol intake and obesity can worsen psoriasis. Now, we have a study that shows that vigorous exercise can play a role in helping to mitigate psoriasis," Green said.
Another expert, Dr. Robert Kirsner, chief of dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, added that "exercise allows patients who may be at risk for psoriasis because of family history the ability to do something to hopefully reduce that risk or delay the start of the psoriasis."
In addition to reducing inflammation, exercise might also reduce stress and depression, which are also associated with psoriasis, he said.
"We finally have something that a patient can do to help reduce their risk of developing psoriasis," Kirsner s
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