Facebook Pixel

Psoriasis and Crohn's Disease Often Overlap

Rate This

It would seem to be an unlikely connection, but now researchers are fairly confident in saying that women with psoriasis face a higher-than-average risk of Crohn's disease. The connection has occasionally been observed by medical practitioners over the years.

Doctors have noticed that women with psoriasis -- a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that typically affects the elbows, knees, scalp and trunk -- sometimes go on to develop Crohn's disease, one of the two major inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

The new data on a psoriasis-IBD link, compiled from two studies at Harvard and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, were announced at a recent Society for Investigative Dermatology meeting.

Dr. Abrar A. Qureshi, senior researcher for both studies, noted that even though the results are preliminary and await publication in a peer-reviewed journal, the overlap between the two conditions is beginning to make sense.

"The inflammatory pathways that have been identified at the genetic level in genome-wide association studies make sense as well because there is overlap in the interleukin-12 and interleukin-23 pathways in psoriasis and Crohn's disease," Qureshi told MedPage Today.

Specifically, the data showed that women with psoriasis had a four-fold increase in the risk of Crohn's disease. In addition, one of the studies showed a 13 percent prevalence rate for psoriasis among patients presenting with IBD.

Data came from the more than 174,000 participants in the years-long Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and NHS II.

The researchers also looked at inflammatory/psoriatic arthritis in relation to IBD and psoriasis and theorized that all have a common pathway at the genetic and molecular level.

In comparisons of those having or not having psoriasis, the data showed that the psoriasis population tended to be older, with a higher body mass index and a history of smoking. Also, they were less active and consumed more alcohol.

As any health professional will tell you, both psoriasis and Crohn's disease are chronic conditions meriting a doctor's attention.

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

The condition linking the two illnesses could be increased intestinal permeability that is proven risk factor in psoriasis.

November 5, 2012 - 11:10am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Crohn's Disease

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!