The association between psoriasis and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Nutr Diabetes. 2012 Dec 3;2(12):e54. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2012.26.


Objective: Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease affecting 2-4% of the world population. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis synthesizing the epidemiological associations between psoriasis and obesity.

Data sources: We searched for observational studies from MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Central Register from 1 January 1980 to 1 January 2012. We applied the Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guidelines in the conduct of this study.

Study selection: We identified 16 observational studies with a total of 2.1 million study participants (201 831 psoriasis patients) fulfilling the inclusion criteria.

Results: Using random-effects meta-analysis, the pooled odds ratio (OR) for obesity among patients with psoriasis was 1.66 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.46-1.89) compared with those without psoriasis. From the studies that reported psoriasis severity, the pooled OR for obesity among patients with mild psoriasis was 1.46 (95% CI 1.17-1.82) and the pooled OR for patients with severe psoriasis was 2.23 (95% CI 1.63-3.05). One incidence study found that psoriasis patients have a hazard ratio of 1.18 (95% CI 1.14-1.23) for new-onset obesity.

Conclusions: Overall, compared with the general population, psoriasis patients have higher prevalence and incidence of obesity. Patients with severe psoriasis have greater odds of obesity than those with mild psoriasis.