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 …”