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Psoriasis is a common chronic disease characterized by recurrent exacerbations of thickened, erythematous, and scaling plaques. It is universal in occurrence and affects approximately 2 percent of the US population. The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown but there are a number of theories regarding its pathophysiology. These include: defects in the epidermal cell cycle, disruption in arachidonic acid metabolism, genetics, immunologic mechanisms, and endogenous trigger factors such as climate, stress, infection, trauma, and drugs.

Diabetes mellitus, a term that means "the running through of sugar," was first identified in the 1st century AD. The disease was described in historical text as "the melting down of flesh into urine." Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition of insufficient insulin availability in relation to need. This can represent an absolute insulin deficiency, impaired insulin secretion, defective insulin receptors on target cells, or insulin that is inactivated before it is able to function. Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which the body does not produce or does not use insulin effectively. It is not simply hyperglycemia.

A recently published study sought to determine the risk of diabetes among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. The subjects included in the trial had at least two diagnoses of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis and were compared to a cohort of people without any known rheumatic disease. The trial included a total of 48,718 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 40,346 people with psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis and 442,033 people without any known rheumatic disease. It was found that the incidence ratio for diabetes among people with rheumatoid arthritis was 8.6 per 1000 person-years, 8.2 per 1000 person-years for people with psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis and 5.8 per 1000 person-years among the control subjects. These results suggest there may be an increased risk of diabetes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis. Further studies may be important to determine whether potent anti-rheumatic treatments can reverse this trend.1

1 Solomon DH, Love TJ, Canning C, et al. Risk of diabetes among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. Ann Rheum Dis. Jun2010.