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Smoking Raises Psoriasis Risk, Especially in Women.

The more women smoke, the higher their risk of psoriasis, based on results of a case-control study of more than 1,000 people.

The dose-response relationship between smoking and psoriasis severity was stronger for women than for men, and was also stronger for psoriasis with pustular lesions, compared with mainly flexural and ordinary plaque disease.

The results also provided some evidence for a link between alcohol consumption and psoriasis in men, reported Dr. Luigi Naldi of the department of dermatology at the Universita degli Studi, Milan, and his associates (Arch. Dermatol. 135[12]:1479-84, 1999).

"The increased risk for psoriasis in women who are smokers, together with the higher prevalence of psoriasis among men, compared with women, documented in several population studies, points to the possible role of hormonal and reproductive factors, since smoking has a well-defined antie-strogenic effect," they said.

The study included 405 patients with psoriasis that had been newly diagnosed within the past 2 years, and 616 controls, who were patients seen at participating dermatology clinics for other newly diagnosed skin disorders.

The patients with psoriasis were significantly more likely to be smokers than the controls. This relationship was strongest for people who smoked 25 or more cigarettes a day; they were 2.1-fold more likely to have psoriasis. The number of years that a person smoked did not seem to affect the risk of psoriasis.

The relationship between smoking and psoriasis was much stronger for women. Women who smoked more than 15 cigarettes a day were 3.9-fold more likely to have psoriasis. In contrast, men who smoked this often were 1.4-fold more likely to have psoriasis.

But men who drank more than two drinks a day were 1.9-fold more likely to have the disease, a difference of borderline statistical significance. Women who drank this much had no increased risk of psoriasis.

A final analysis looked at smoking and the type of psoriasis. Patients who smoked 15 or more cigarettes a day had a 10.5-fold increased risk of pustular psoriasis. But this amount of smoking had no statistically significant impact on the risk of mainly flexural psoriasis, and it raised the risk of ordinary plaque disease modestly by 1.7-fold.
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Publication:OB GYN News
Date:Apr 1, 2000
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