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19-05-2011 | Article

Statins fail to protect against psoriasis


Meeting website

MedWire News: Statin therapy does not appear to protect against psoriasis, researchers reported at the annual meeting of the Society for Investigative Dermatology in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

The team found that any use of statins, irrespective of how long, did not reduce the risk of psoriasis development compared no use.

Statins are known to have anti-inflammatory effects in addition to being able to lower lipid levels, and it was this anti-inflammatory effect that the researchers thought may help combat psoriasis onset.

For their investigation, the team assessed the onset of new cases of psoriasis among 82,861 individuals not taking statins and 3242 individuals who were taking the drug. The data were taken from two large ongoing research studies.

Overall, 1296 individuals developed psoriasis. After taking into account age, high cholesterol levels and the use of lipid-lowering drugs other than statins, the team found no evidence to suggest that patients taking statins were less likely to develop psoriasis than those who were not.

Even when the duration of statin use was examined, with statin treatment for fewer than 2 years compared with treatment for more than 6 years, the data failed to find a statistically significant effect of statins in reducing the risk for psoriasis in either men or women.

Hayley Naik, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and colleagues were surprised by the disappointing results given preliminary evidence that statins might be associated with improved disease status in patients with psoriasis.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Lucy Piper