6 Health Conditions Linked to Psoriasis

1. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Psoriasis, which is characterized by chronic inflammation, can make it hard for people to breathe and lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). In fact, a study conducted in the scientific journal PLOS One revealed that people with psoriasis are more prone to developing COPD. Since inhaling smoke can contribute to the development of COPD, people with psoriasis should avoid exposure to various types of toxic substances, especially tobacco products like cigarettes and cigars. Patients should also be regularly checked for reduced lung function by a doctor.

2. Lymphoma
People with psoriasis have an increased risk of developing lymphoma and other cancers. This is because psoriasis affects the body’s immune system in a way that causes it to produce excessive inflammation, which generally increases cancer risk. Moreover, many risk factors for psoriasis, such as smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, are also risk factors for cancer. Some psoriasis medications can also increase a patient’s risk for lymphoma specifically. 

3. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a common condition that affects many women. This condition, which is characterized by small cysts on the ovaries, can increase a patient’s risk of getting endometrial cancer, among many other symptoms. Studies have also shown that psoriasis can affect the reproductive system, including PCOS. Luckily, there are various treatments available, including birth control pills and an anti-inflammatory diet. Stress management and psoriasis treatment can also help.

4. Psoriatic arthritis
About a quarter of people with plaque psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis, which is a type of arthritis that affects the joints. Similar to other forms of arthritis, the symptoms of this condition include pain and inflammation in the joints, a decrease in range of motion, and swelling in the soft tissue surrounding the joints.

5. Depression
According to a study conducted by the National Psoriasis Foundation, those with the condition are also more prone to experiencing mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. This is generally because many people with psoriasis develop low self-esteem and a negative body image due to how the condition affects their appearance.

6. Heart disease
A study conducted in 2021 revealed that people with psoriasis are more prone to developing cardiovascular disease, likely due to the chronic inflammation that comes with the condition. According to cardiologist Kevin Campbell, an expert at Health First in Florida, chronic inflammation can damage the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke. As such, it is suggested that people with psoriasis should also take advantage of the various treatments and preventative measures available for heart disease. 

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