Psoriatic arthritis is linked to a host of other conditions and knowing their symptoms can help patients stay clear of these comorbidities.
Psoriasis is an incurable chronic skin disease characterized by scaly skin that develops itchy plaques. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, approximately 30 percent of the worldwide population develops a form of arthritic inflammation called psoriatic arthritis after developing psoriasis. Affecting both men and women, psoriatic arthritis is most prominently noted in people between the ages of 30 and 50 years. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite end at your skin and joints. According to research studies, having psoriatic arthritis also opens you up to a number of other conditions linked with it.
If you have psoriatic arthritis, you are also at an increased risk of developing a number of other conditions such as eye disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc. Being aware of these possible comorbidities is important, as you can then watch out for signs and symptoms, and get yourself thoroughly screened by your physician. The Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA) has released an in-depth series of guidelines pertaining to the myriad conditions patients with psoriatic arthritis need to be screened for. “What really is important is to treat the patient as a whole and to say there are associated conditions that are more common with people with psoriatic arthritis. And physicians treating these patients should be made aware,” says Dr. Elaine Husni, the chief writer of the GRAPPA guidelines update.
One of the most common comorbidities of psoriatic arthritis happens to be cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVDs cover a range of heart illnesses including but not limited to coronary artery disease, angina, myocardial infarction, strokes, hypertensive heart disease, atrial fibrillation, peripheral artery disease, etc. The leading cause of death all over the world, CVDs bring a whole host of risk factors on board along with it. For example, if you have CVD, your chances of developing other health conditions such as diabetes go up. There is a direct link between development of CVD and obesity too. Along with diabetes, your risk of developing metabolic syndromes also increases. Owing to the heavy inflammatory weight that psoriatic arthritis saddles your body system with, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome are some of the most common comorbidities observed.
Another condition that you need to watch out for is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Basically, IBD is the chronic inflammation of all or some parts of your digestive tract. Working hand-in-hand with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, IBD affects approximately 600,000 Americans every year. The instances of IBD in patients with psoriatic arthritis is high, and this indicates a link between the two conditions. Researchers are still studying the causation of IBD due to psoriatic arthritis, but it is recommended that physicians screen for IBD in a patient suffering from psoriatic arthritis.
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