Severe Psoriasis Linked to Early Death

Researchers believe inflammation may affect organs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2007 5:31 AM CST
Up t0 7.5 million Americans suffer from psoriasis, although most of them only have milder forms of the inflammatory disease.   (Flickr)
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(Newser) – People suffering from severe psoriasis face a significantly increased risk of early death, according to new research. Those with a severe form of the inflammatory skin disease had a 50% increased risk of mortality compared with people without the disease, according to the study in the Archives of Dermatology. "More years of life are lost to severe psoriasis than to severe hypertension," said one researcher.

Mild forms of the disease were not linked to an increased risk. Psoriasis is thought to affect the immune system and researchers now speculate that the inflammation it causes could spread to organs, aggravating other chronic conditions. Men with severe psoriasis died an average of 3.5 years earlier than men without the condition, while women died 4.4 years earlier. As many as 7.5 million Americans suffer from psoriasis.