Psoriasis and liver disease may be connected

According to new research recently published in the Gastroenterology Review entitled “Relationship between Psoriasis and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease”, patients living with psoriasis may be at an increased risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

The study looked at 250 patients over the age of 18 years who had been given a diagnosis of psoriasis vulgaris. They considered how long these patients had lived with the condition, and whether they also had been diagnosed with hypertension, increased cholesterol or diabetes.

Each patient’s body-mass index, weight and height were recorded and each participant’s skin was looked at to confirm they had psoriasis. These patients were then given a liver ultrasound.

The study lasted for a period of 9 months from July 2014-March 2015 and was conducted in a hospital environment.

The research found:

  • 48% of patients were carrying excess fat around their middle
  • 96% had a high cholesterol reading
  • just over 52% had hypertension
  • 44% had an increase in an enzyme that provides information about liver damage.

The study concluded that over 45% of the 250 patients had NAFLD. This is relatively high compared to prevalence in the general population across various countries which ranges between 20-30%.

The authors of the study concluded that healthcare professionals need to be careful with the association between psoriasis and NAFLD as more investigation is needed in order to provide appropriate mechanisms for diagnosis and treatment pathways.

Sources used in writing this article are available on request

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Next review: 24 January 2020