The Link Between Psoriasis and High Blood Pressure

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • Psoriasis has, in the past, been linked with an increased risk of other, serious health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, obesity and other immune-related conditions. Several recent studies have shown a link between psoriasis and hypertension, or high blood pressure.

    In a study completed at UC Davis in 2011, researchers found that those with high blood pressure and psoriasis are more likely to have severe high blood pressure and require higher doses of medication or additional medications to control it. The researchers found that participants in the study who were diagnosed with both psoriasis and high blood pressure were 20 times more likely that those without psoriasis to be taking four medications or a central-acting agent to control their hypertension.

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    Another study, completed in 2014, found that the severity level of psoriasis was linked to the severity level of high blood pressure. The researchers looked at the medical records of 1,322 people with psoriasis and high blood pressure. Their levels of hypertension were compared to over 11,000 people with high blood pressure, but not psoriasis. Those with psoriasis were found to have a 20 percent higher risk of having uncontrolled high blood pressure (a systolic blood pressure of 140 or higher or a diastolic blood pressure of 90 or higher). Those with moderate or severe psoriasis were 48 percent more likely to have uncontrolled blood pressure.

    A study completed in July 2014, only looked at women with high blood pressure and found that this condition increases the risk of developing psoriasis. This risk increases for women who had high blood pressure for more than six years. In addition, the researchers found that taking beta-blockers, one type of medication for hypertension, can increase the risk of developing psoriasis. The study only looked at women and are not sure if the same results would be found in men.

    Based on these studies, it is important to take extra precautions if you have psoriasis and blood pressure. Because you probably have two different doctors treating these conditions, make sure all of your doctors are aware of both conditions and all medications you are taking. Severe or uncontrolled hypertension can lead to heart attack or stroke. Ask your doctor about ways you can closely monitor your blood pressure, including increased doctor’s visits and having a blood pressure kit at home to check yourself on a daily basis. Discuss with your dermatologist all medications you are taking for hypertension as some of these medications can worsen psoriasis.

    If you have psoriasis, but have not been diagnosed with hypertension, it is still important to continue monitoring your blood pressure so you can make sure it is quickly treated, should you develop it.


    “Effect of Psoriasis Severity on Hypertension Control,” 2014, Oct. 15, Junko Takeshita et al, JAMA Dermatology, doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.2094

Published On: November 05, 2014