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Study Links Severity of Psoriasis, Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Mary Caffrey
Previous work has linked psoriasis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, but this is one of the first studies to tie together the severity of the 2 conditions.
Results from a prospective, yearlong study unveiled today show that patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) who also had psoriasis had the most severe liver damage, revealing that the severity of the 2 conditions can be linked.

The study by researchers from the La Paz Hospital in Madrid, Spain, is being presented at the 28th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, being held in Madrid.

The study involved 64 male patients with severe psoriasis and NAFLD who had a mean age of 53.4 years and a mean body mass index of 30.9 kg/m2, just over the level that defines obesity. NAFLD has been increasing due to rising obesity rates worldwide, and could be present in 20% to 30% of the US population.

Also, 53.1% of the patients in the study had diabetes, which is associated with inflammation due to insulin resistance. Inflammation triggers the red, flaky patches that are the hallmark of psoriasis as well as the joint pain that patients experience.

Researchers used the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) score to measure the severity of disease, and ultrasound elastrography measured liver stiffness to diagnose and measure NAFLD. Stiffness in liver tissue indicates fibrosis, which can lead to cirrhosis.

According to the abstract, after linear regression analysis, only age and the highest PASI score were associated with elastrometry value. “With the same age, an increase by 1 in the PASI value implies, on average, an increase of 0.26 kPa in elastrometry,” the authors wrote.

“Previous research has already established a link between psoriasis and NAFLD. This is one of the first studies to assess the relationship between the severity of psoriasis with the severity of NAFLD,” said Daniel Nieto, MD, Department of Dermatology at La Paz Hospital and lead author of the study, in a statement.

“Increasing awareness and the continued assessment of the severity of NAFLD in patients with psoriasis by primary care physicians, specialists, health policy makers and patients, should be prioritized to help manage both conditions,” he said.

Reference

Neito D, Olveira A, Quintana L, et al. Psoriasis severity is related to the severity of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Presented at the 28th Congress of European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology; Madrid, Spain; October 9-13, 2019.

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