Earlier studies have already tied psoriasis with increased likelihood for certain health conditions including diabetes, psychiatric problems and obesity. Now, a new study has yet again found an association between the immune-mediated skin disease and uncontrolled hypertension.

Findings of a new research published in the journal JAMA Dermatology on Oct. 15 found evidence that individuals with severe cases of psoriasis, a condition marked by painful and itchy scaly patches that appear on the skin, have increased odds for uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Study researcher Junko Takeshita, from the Department of Dermatology of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and colleagues looked at the data of over 13,000 individuals to find out if the severity of psoriasis affects the severity of high blood pressure in individuals who suffer from both conditions.

Of the subjects of the study, 1,322 were sufferers of both hypertension and psoriasis and 11,977 had high blood pressure but did not have psoriasis.

After adjusting for factors which include the participants' age, body mass index, sex, use of alcohol and smoking, and other conditions, Takeshita and colleagues found that psoriasis patients had 48 percent increased risks to have uncontrolled high blood pressure, or a systolic blood pressure of at least 140 mm Hg or a diastolic blood pressure of at least 90 mm Hg, compared with individuals who did not have psoriasis.

Of the patients with severe psoriasis or those whose condition affected over 10 percent of their skin, nearly 60 percent had uncontrolled hypertension while the participants with moderate psoriasis, or those with at least 3 percent of their skin affected, only had 20 percent odds for uncontrolled blood pressure.

"Among patients with hypertension, psoriasis was associated with a greater likelihood of uncontrolled hypertension in a dose-dependent manner, with the greatest likelihood observed among those with moderate to severe psoriasis defined by 3% or more of the body surface area affected," Takeshita and colleagues wrote.

The researchers, however, said that their study has not established a cause and effect relationship. It is not also clear what is behind the link between the two conditions albeit Takeshita said that chronic inflammation is a possible common denominator.

"Knowing that psoriasis is tied to other health conditions, it's vital that we have a better understanding of the systemic effects it has on other areas of the body so that we can more closely monitor these patients and provide better and preventative care," Takeshita said.

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