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Risk for Psoriasis Increased for Cancer Survivors

Increased risks seen for survivors of leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, skin cancer, and lung cancer in subgroup analyses

By Physician’s Briefing Staff | July 21, 2021

Cancer survivors, especially survivors of hematologic malignancies, have an increased risk for psoriasis, according to a research letter published online June 30 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Miri Kim, M.D., Ph.D., from The Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, and colleagues conducted a nationwide, population-based cohort study to examine the incidence of psoriasis among survivors of adult-onset cancer using data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service database. The analyses included 804,836 newly enrolled cancer survivors (aged >50 years) compared to 1,613,046 age- and sex-matched cancer-free individuals.

The researchers found that cancer survivors had a significantly increased risk for psoriasis compared with controls after adjustment for age, sex, and comorbidities (hazard ratio, 1.41). In subgroup analyses, the risks for psoriasis were increased for cancer survivors of leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, skin cancer, and lung cancer (hazard ratios, 3.36, 2.66, 2.50, 2.32, and 2.02, respectively) compared with cancer-free controls. After adjustment for potential confounders, the risks were not significantly elevated for survivors of uterine and testicular cancers.

"It is conceivable that the chronic inflammatory nature of cancer, as well as commonly associated risk factors such as obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption, may increase the risk of psoriasis among cancer survivors," the authors write. "In addition, cancer may potentially predispose patients to the development of psoriasis."

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