Vigorous physical activity associated with reduced risk of psoriasis

A study of U.S. women suggests that vigorous physical activity may be associated with a reduced risk of psoriasis, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Dermatology.

Psoriasis is an immunologic disorder characterized by and scaling of the skin. Physical activity has been associated with a decreased risk of disorders characterized by systemic inflammation, including type 2 diabetes, , and breast cancer, according to the study background.

"Our results suggest that participation in at least 20.9 MET (metabolic equivalent task)-hours per week of vigorous exercise, the equivalent of 105 minutes of running or 180 minutes of swimming or playing tennis, is associated with a 25 percent to 30 percent reduced risk of psoriasis compared with not participating in any vigorous exercise," the authors note.

Hillary C. Frankel, A.B., of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and colleagues used data from the Nurses' Health Study II. Their analysis included 86,665 women who did not have psoriasis at baseline in 1991 and who completed physical activity questionnaires in 1991, 1997 and 2001. Researchers documented 1,026 incident cases of psoriasis as they examined the association between physical activity and the disorder.

The most physically active women had a lower multivariate relative risk of psoriasis (0.72) compared with the least active. Walking was not associated with a reduced risk of psoriasis, according to study results.

"Among the individual vigorous activities we evaluated, only running and performing aerobic exercise or calisthenics were associated with a reduced risk of psoriasis. Other vigorous activities, including jogging, playing tennis, swimming and bicycling were not associated with psoriasis risk," the authors note. "The highly variable intensity at which these activities are performed may account for this finding."

The authors suggest that how physical activity may reduce psoriasis risk deserves further study.

"In addition to providing other health benefits, participation in may represent a new preventive measure for women at high risk of developing psoriasis. Additional corroborative studies and further investigations into the mechanisms by which physical activity protects against new-onset psoriasis are needed," the researchers conclude.

More information: Arch Intern Med. Published online May 21, 2012. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2012.943

Related Stories

Coffee, caffeine not linked to psoriasis in U.S. women

Mar 21, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Coffee and caffeine are not associated with psoriasis incidence after adjustment for smoking, according to a research letter published in the March issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Smoking is an independent risk factor for psoriasis

Mar 07, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Smoking is an independent risk factor for psoriasis, with particularly strong associations for heavy smokers and those who have smoked for many years, according to research published in the ...

Women who drink beer more likely to develop psoriasis

Aug 16, 2010

Regular beer - but not light beer or other types of alcohol—appears to be associated with an increased risk of developing psoriasis, according to a report posted online today that will be published in the December print ...

New study shows smoking increases risk of psoriasis

Oct 29, 2007

Another disease can be added to the list of smoking-related disorders -- psoriasis. Researchers have found that smoking increases the risk of developing psoriasis, heavier smoking increases the risk further, and the risk ...

Recommended for you

Brain neuroinflammation seen in chronic fatigue syndrome

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—Neuroinflammation markers are elevated in the brains of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) patients compared to healthy controls, according to a study published online ...

Which asthma drugs, dosages work best for African Americans?

Feb 19, 2014

The University of Illinois at Chicago has received funding from the National Institutes of Health to determine what combination and dosages of asthma medications works best to manage asthma in African Americans, who suffer ...

User comments