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Link Shown Between Hypertension, Antihypertensive Drugs, and the Development of Psoriasis

Research published online recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dermatology, (JAMA) sought to determine whether a history of hypertension and the use of medication for high blood pressure increased the risk of psoriasis.  On the knowledge that psoriasis patients are more likely to have hypertension and that medications to treat comorbidities may exacerbate psoriasis, the study searched for association of high blood pressure, medication, and duration-dependence in a cohort of 843 women in the Nurses’ Health Study system.

From 1996 to 2008, women biennially reported their data on hypertension and antihypertensive medications.  After analysis, it was found that the risk of psoriasis was higher in those women with hypertension duration of 6 years or more in comparison to those with less than 6 years of reported hypertension.  Authors noted a duration-dependent association among regular users of beta-blockers for treatment of hypertension for 6 years or more.  Beta-blockers were the only antihypertensive drugs to show heightened risk for psoriasis.  Women who did not use medication but still reported hypertension were more likely to develop psoriasis than normotensive women. 

Hypertension may be associated with psoriasis due to the shared inflammatory pathways, as both are associated with an inflammatory state.  The authors noted that their results suggest that medications used to treat hypertension may be linked to the development or psoriasis, though the only antihypertensive drugs associated were beta-blockers used for 6 years or more.  Further research is required to develop understanding on the biology behind the findings.

Sources: 1, 2

Image: Will Montague

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