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Exercise linked with reduced risk of psoriasis

Vigorous physical activity in women at risk of psoriasis is associated with a reduced likelihood of the condition developing later in life, according to new research.

The authors analysed a cohort of 86,665 women without psoriasis at baseline over a period of 10 years. Time spent on physical activity was noted at three intervals over the follow-up period, and each activity was assigned a metabolic-equivalent task (MET) value.

They found the most active women had a 29% decreased risk of psoriasis later in life, compared to the least active women. For the women in subgroups of activity levels between these two, there was a significant trend towards decreased risk as activity level increased.

When analysing the type of activity, women who undertook vigorous physical activity were 34% less likely to acquire psoriasis when compared to the least active women.

Study lead Dr Hillary Frankel, lecturer in dermatology at Harvard Medical School, said: ‘Our results suggest that participation in at least 20.9 MET-hours per week of vigorous exercise is associated with a 25-30% reduced risk of psoriasis.'

Arch Dermatol 2012, online 21 May

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