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Psoriasis diagram

ED and Psoriasis: Researchers Note Correlation Between the Two

Psoriasis patients appear to face a significantly higher risk of sexual dysfunction than those who are free of the skin condition. Doctors treating psoriasis patients are encouraged to open a dialogue about sexual problems.

Multiple research studies point to an association between psoriasis, a common skin condition, and sexual dysfunction. Although this link has been observed in both men and women, its prevalence is perhaps most noteworthy in men, who face a sharply increased risk of erectile dysfunction if they are diagnosed with psoriasis.

The most recent research project to weigh in on the issue was a review published in the January 2019 issue of JAMA Dermatology, a publication of the American Medical Association. Conducted by a team of Spanish dermatologists, the review evaluated data from 28 relevant studies covering 52,520 patients with psoriasis as well as 1.8 million study participants who served as controls.

What the Reviewers Found

Reviewers observed a higher incidence of sexual dysfunction among study participants suffering from psoriasis than among those who were free of the skin condition. Specifically, they found that psoriasis patients were five and a half times more likely to eventually be diagnosed with sexual dysfunction, while male psoriasis patients faced a 1.38-fold to 3.97-fold higher risk of ED.

In the conclusion to their study, the researchers noted that patients diagnosed with psoriasis appeared to suffer also from certain physiological and psychological disorders that have been previously linked to a higher risk of sexual dysfunction. Such comorbid conditions include psoriatic arthritis, genital lesions, depression, anxiety, and advancing age. Researchers noted that many psoriasis patients treated with biologic drugs have experienced a reduction in their symptoms of sexual dysfunction.

2 Chinese Studies

Two Chinese studies, both published in 2018, focus more specifically on the link between psoriasis and an increased risk of erectile function. The first, published in the June 2018 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, was also a review of scientific literature relevant to the psoriasis-ED association.

The Chinese reviewers evaluated data from nine studies covering 36,242 psoriasis patients and nearly 1.7 million study participants who were free of psoriasis. The data confirmed a statistically significant association between psoriasis and the risk of ED. However, the researchers noted that “additional prospective cohort studies are needed to elucidate these relationships and to advance knowledge in this field.”

Very similar findings emerged from the second Chinese research project, which was also a systematic review of relevant scientific literature. Published in the November 2018 issue of the International Journal of Impotence Research, the review represented the analysis of data from eight relevant studies. Here again, the data pointed to a significantly higher risk of ED among male psoriasis patients.

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