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Long-term hypertension associated with increased risk of psoriasis

Long-term hypertensive status and a long-term regular use of beta-blockers increases the risk of psoriasis, according to new research.

In 1976, registered female nurses enrolled in the nurses’ health study, used to monitor information on their risk factors and health data. A biennial questionnaire, which commenced at the start of the study, assessed whether there was a history of physician-diagnosed hypertension. Use of antihypertensive medications was also assessed every two years, and included thiazide diuretics, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers and other anti-hypertensive drugs. In 2008, participants were asked to declare a physician diagnosis of psoriasis between the years of 1997-2008 via an item on the questionnaire.

Women with a six-year history of hypertension were found to have a 27% increased risk of psoriasis, a significant rise compared with normotensive women. This risk was maintained when the use of antihypertensive medication was evaluated – women currently on medication for hypertension had a 31% increase in the risk of developing psoriasis, compared to those without hypertension.

An analysis of the antihypertensive medications prescribed found that beta-blocker use for more than six years was associated with a 39% increased risk of psoriasis, compared with those not on beta-blockers.

The authors advised that ‘special attention on psoriasis screening may be needed for patients with long-term duration of hypertension and related antihypertensive medication use in clinical practices.’

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