Psoriasis, a common skin condition that causes skin redness and irritation, could raise the risk of obesity in children.
A new study published in the journal Archives of Dermatology, found that regardless of psoriasis severity, children with the condition are more likely to be overweight or obese.
"Adults with psoriasis have an increased risk of obesity, myocardial infarction, stroke and diabetes mellitus," researchers wrote. "Recent studies also suggest the association of psoriasis with obesity in children."
Dr. Amy S. Paller of Northwestern University in Chicago and her team examined 614 children from nine countries from 2009 to 2011. Of all the participants, 409 of the children had psoriasis and 205 did not have the condition.
Researchers examined the link between excess adiposity (body mass index percentile) and central adiposity (waist circumference percentile and waist to height ratio) with pediatric psoriasis severity.
Researchers divided the children suffering from psoriasis into two groups depending on the severity of their condition.
Researchers found that excess adiposity occurred in 37.9 percent of children with psoriasis compared to 20.5 percent of children in the control group. Results of the study indicated no difference in excess adiposity and severity of the skin condition.
Paller and her team also found that waist circumference above the 90th percentile occurred in 14 percent of children with mild psoriasis and 21.1 percent of children in the severe psoriasis group compared to 9.3 percent of children in the control group.
Furthermore, researchers found that the waist to height ratio was significantly higher in children with psoriasis compared to children in the control group.
Researchers noted that children with severe psoriasis, but mild psoriasis at the beginning of the study, showed no significant difference in excess or central adiposity compared to children whose condition remained severe.
"In conclusion, children with psoriasis internationally, regardless of severity, are more likely to be overweight or obese and thus are at increased risk for complications related to excess adiposity," the authors wrote.
"Should further studies show excess adiposity to be a precursor for psoriasis, attempts at early weight loss and lifestyle modification will be important, not only to decrease the risk of metabolic disease but also to modulate the course of pediatric psoriasis," they concluded.