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Vigorous physical activity appeared to reduce the risk for psoriasis among a group of female nurses in the United States, according to the findings of a cohort study by Hillary C. Frankel, from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues.
Physical Activity and Inflammatory Disorders
Physical activity has been associated with a decreased risk of disorders characterized by systemic inflammation, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, colon cancer, coronary artery disease, and breast cancer.
Walking and vigorous exercise appear to have an equal role in reducing the risk of developing coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer. A dose-response relationship has also been demonstrated, with higher amounts of physical activity associated with a lower risk of disease.
It is biologically plausible that physical activity may affect psoriasis risk through effects on systemic inflammatory mediators.
The study population included 86 655 US female nurses who reported whether they had ever been diagnosed as having psoriasis and who completed detailed physical activity questionnaires in 1991, 1997, and 2001. Participants with a history of psoriasis prior to 1991 were excluded.
The authors documented 1026 incident psoriasis cases during 1 195 703 person-years of follow-up (14 years, 1991-2005).
Health Behaviors May Trump Genes When It Comes to Psoriasis
After adjusting for age, smoking, and alcohol use, they found that vigorous physical activity is independently associated with a reduced risk of incident psoriasis.
Frankel HC, Han J, Li T, Qureshi AA. The Association Between Physical Activity and the Risk of Incident Psoriasis. Arch Dermatol. 2012;():1-7. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2012.943