Long-Term Hypertension Ups Psoriasis Risk

Women who had hypertension for at least 6 years had a 27% increased risk of the skin disease.
Women who had hypertension for at least 6 years had a 27% increased risk of the skin disease.

Individuals who have hypertension for 6 or more years are at increased risk of psoriasis, according to a new study.

The study, which examined data from 77,728 women in the Nurses' Health Study, found that women who had hypertension for 6 years or more had a significant 27% increased risk of psoriasis compared with those who did not have hypertension, after adjusting for multiple potential confounders.

Hypertensive women who did not take antihypertensive medications had a significant 49% increased risk of psoriasis and hypertensive women who currently used antihypertensive medications had a significant 31% increased risk compared with women who did not have hypertensive and were not on antihypertensive medication.

Additionally, compared with women who never used beta blockers, those who regularly this class of drugs for 6 years or more had a 39% increased risk of psoriasis in multivariate analysis. The investigation, led by Abrar A. Qureshi, MD, MPH, of Brown University in Providence, RI, found no association between use of other individual antihypertensive drugs and psoriasis risk.

The researchers reported their findings online ahead of print in JAMA Dermatology, where they concluded: “These findings provide novel insights into the association among hypertension, antihypertensive medications, and psoriasis.”

Dr. Qureshi's team previous studies have shown that individuals with psoriasis are at higher risk of hypertension, and antihypertensive medications, particularly beta blockers, have been linked to the development of psoriasis.

As a result of the study findings, the researchers stated that “special attention on psoriasis screening may be needed for patients with long-term duration of hypertension and related antihypertensive medication use in clinical practices.”

Psoriasis, the researchers pointed out, is characterized by T-cell-mediated hyperproliferation of keratinocytes and inflammatory processes. Hypertension is characterized by increased oxidative stress and inflammation, and immune mechanisms reportedly are involved in the development of hypertension.

In addition, population-based studies have found that chronic inflammation is associated with an increased risk of hypertension. “Therefore, hypertension may be associated with psoriasis development because of the shared inflammatory pathways.”

The study found no increased risk of psoriasis among women who had hypertension for less than 6 years, the authors noted, a finding that is consistent with the concept that psoriasis is associated with a chronic inflammatory state.

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