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01-03-2012 | Psoriasis | Article

Obstructive sleep apnea increases risk for psoriasis


Free abstract

MedWire News: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients have increased risk for psoriasis compared with the general population, suggest study results.

"Increasing evidence has shown that patients with OSA have a higher risk of various comorbid medical diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, insulin resistance, and Type 2 diabetes mellitus," write Herng-Ching Lin (Taipei Medical University, Taiwan) and colleagues in Sleep Medicine.

"Although mechanisms underlying the link between OSA and these medical comorbidities remains to be elucidated, sympathetic overactivity, hypercoagulability, and activation of inflammatory pathways had been proposed as possible factors contributing to the associations," they add.

To investigate potential links between OSA and psoriasis, Lin and team analyzed data from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000.

In total, the researchers compared 2258 OSA patients and 11,255 controls matched for gender and age to the OSA patients.

The 13,513 individuals were initially assessed for the presence of OSA and were then followed up for 3 years for incident psoriasis.

Lin and co-workers report that 36 people (0.27%) developed psoriasis overall during the follow-up period.

The respective percentages in patients with and without OSA were 0.49% and 0.22%. Following adjustment for monthly income, geographic location, obesity, and urbanization level, the team calculated that patients with OSA were a significant 2.30-fold more likely to develop psoriasis over the follow-up period than those without OSA.

"Our results suggest that OSA is associated with an increased risk of subsequent psoriasis," say Lin et al.

"Future studies that include the severity index of OSA, health risk behaviors, and body mass index are needed to clarify the association between sleep-disordered breathing and psoriasis," they conclude.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Helen Albert

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