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July 2012

Psoriasis Linked to Higher Diabetes Risk

People who have psoriasis may have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a recent study.

Researchers reviewed data on 102,132 people with psoriasis and 430,716 people without the chronic skin disorder. All participants ranged in age from 18 to 90 years old. They divided the psoriasis patients into overall, mild and severe groups, and looked at how many people developed diabetes and received treatment for diabetes throughout the study period.

The results suggested that individuals in the severe psoriasis group had the highest likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, these subjects were more likely to receive treatment for diabetes, compared to people who had diabetes but no psoriasis.

The authors concluded that psoriasis may be linked to an increased risk of diabetes, and patients with this skin disease are more likely to receive diabetes treatment than diabetics without psoriasis. More evidence is needed to confirm these findings.

Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a chronic health condition where the body is unable to produce enough insulin and properly break down sugar (glucose) in the blood. Glucose comes from food and is used by the cells for energy. Glucose is also made in the liver. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach. Insulin is needed to move sugar into the cells where it can be used for energy needed for body processes.

Diabetes is associated with long-term complications that affect almost every part of the body. The disease often leads to blindness, heart and blood vessel disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputations, and nerve damage. Uncontrolled diabetes can complicate pregnancy, and birth defects are more common in babies born to women with diabetes. Pregnant women can temporarily develop gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that begins late in pregnancy.

For more information about diabetes, please visit Natural Standard's Medical Conditions Database.


  1. Azfar RS, Seminara NM, Shin DB, et al. Increased Risk of Diabetes Mellitus and Likelihood of Receiving Diabetes Mellitus Treatment in Patients With PsoriasisDiabetes Mellitus and Psoriasis. Arch Dermatol. 2012 Jun 18:1-6. doi: 10.1001/archdermatol.2012.1401. [Epub ahead of print] View Abstract
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
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