A study published in the “Frontiers in Immunology” journal earlier this year has tied smoking to an increased risk of developing psoriasis. Psoriasis affects more than 8 million people in the United States and more than 125 million people globally, and the disease has no cure.
It causes dry, itchy, raised, scaly-looking lesions on the skin that are discolored and can be quite sore. Triggers for the chronic condition include heavy alcohol consumption, smoking, skin injuries, infections, insect bites, cold temperatures and stress. Psoriasis is also associated with an increased risk of conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, dyslipidemia and metabolic syndrome.
Previous studies have suggested that psoriasis patients are more likely to be cigarette smokers and that more patients with psoriasis tend to continue smoking after being diagnosed. They have also indicated that smoking may increase the severity of psoriasis and reduce patients’ response to psoriasis treatment.
Researchers from Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte wanted to determine if smoking had an independent association with psoriasis. Led by medical doctor and PhD student Charlotte Näslund-Koch, the group analyzed data from 105,912 individuals collected in the Copenhagen General Population Study. Some 1,240 of the study participants had moderate-to-severe psoriasis.
The researchers found that smokers have a higher risk of developing moderate-to-severe psoriasis compared to people who had never smoked. They say that their findings indicate that smoking has an independent association with psoriasis but doesn’t seem to present a causal risk. Furthermore, they noted that while they did not find a causal relationship between moderate-to-severe psoriasis and smoking, abstaining from smoking is crucial in the prevention of other health risks.
Data has consistently shown that smoking causes stroke, lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer. It also heightens the risk of tuberculosis, eye diseases and issues with one’s immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis.
However, recent surveys have revealed that adults in the United States are smoking less, with a 2022 Gallup study finding that only 11% of adults in America smoke cigarettes. An analysis of national survey data published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” (JAMA) last year also found that people with substance use disorder and major depression are smoking tobacco at reduced rates.
The analysis suggested that these groups likely reduced their smoking because of tobacco use prevention and cessation efforts. Since 2000, states such as New York and California have spent millions of dollars on public antismoking campaigns.
Many companies, such as Jupiter Wellness Inc. (NASDAQ: JUPW), are putting effort into availing products that can help people suffering from psoriasis have a better quality of life despite having this condition.
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