Psoriasis tied to higher risk of serious liver disease
“This study is the first, to our knowledge, to empirically support the long held belief that psoriasis patients are more prone to serious liver problems compared to patients without psoriasis and those with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis which are treated with similar medications,” said senior study author Dr. Joel Gelfand of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
“Medications which are toxic to the liver, such as methotrexate, should be used cautiously in patients with psoriatic disease, especially those with additional risk factors such as obesity or regular alcohol use,” Gelfand said by email.
The study suggests systemic inflammation – which is present in all three diseases – may play a significant role in development of liver disease, particularly in those with psoriasis, researchers note online November 2 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
For the study, researchers examined data on almost 1.3 million people without chronic inflammatory disorders as well as roughly 198,000 psoriasis patients, 12,000 people with psoriatic arthritis and 54,000 with rheumatoid arthritis.