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Saturday 23rd June 2018

Beer linked to psoriasis in women

23rd August 2010

A recent report published in the United States has found that women who drink more than five beers a week are at a higher risk of getting the skin disorder, psoriasis.


Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, and Boston University followed the drinking habits of more 80,000 nurses in the United States for a period of 14 years.

Over the course of the study, they found that women who drink 2.3 alcoholic drinks on average every week are 72% more likely to develop psoriasis.

There was a 76% greater likelihood of getting psoriasis for women who drank five or more non-light beers a week.

Previous studies have shown a possible association between psoriasis and high alcohol intake, although experts say that further studies are needed to clarify the findings. To date, the only proven risk factor is considered to be genetic.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, the cohort study was published in the Archives of Dermatology, and set out to assess a possible link between alcohol intake and psoriasis.

Psoriasis results in red, scaly, flaky patches on the skin, caused by skins cells replacing themselves faster than usual.

It is most commonly found on the back of the elbows, knees and scalp. Other areas can also be affected.

Experts said the US study used the most suitable method for determining a link between alchohol and psoriasis. Drugs and stress have been linked to the condition. 

But they said it was difficult to accurately quantify a person’s alcohol intake using questionnaires, as people might misreport their true consumption, which could also fluctuate.

The researchers conclude that non-light beer intake is associated with an increased risk of developing psoriasis among women.

However, there were relatively few new cases of psoriasis: of the 82,869 women responding to the question on psoriasis in 1995, only 1.4% of them had developed psoriasis.

Experts said women should limit their alcohol consumption to 2-3 units a week, and men to 3-4 units a weeks.


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