Psoriasis in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome or Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Treatment Challenges

Am J Clin Dermatol. 2021 May;22(3):293-300. doi: 10.1007/s40257-021-00590-y. Epub 2021 Feb 15.


Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects 2-3% of the population worldwide. It is associated with plaques, psoriatic arthritis, and metabolic syndrome and its components, including obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and cardiovascular disease. In this review, we highlight the shared pathogenic pathways leading to the comorbid existence of both diseases and the impact of drugs used for psoriasis on metabolic syndrome and vice versa. Persistent inflammation is common to both diseases. They share increased inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin-6. Biologics have revolutionized the treatment of plaque psoriasis and also have a positive impact on metabolic syndrome. There is some evidence that TNFα inhibitors decrease insulin resistance and improve glycemic indices. Some psoriasis treatments may result in decreased body weight. Lifestyle measures used in the management of metabolic syndrome, such as weight loss, exercise, and healthy diet, are beneficial in patients with psoriasis. Considering the association between metabolic syndrome and psoriasis, we recommend screening patients with psoriasis for metabolic syndrome with clinical examinations and laboratory tests. Patients with a co-diagnosis of these diseases deserve special attention for optimal treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Products / pharmacology
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / immunology
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / immunology
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Psoriasis / epidemiology
  • Psoriasis / immunology
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Biological Products
  • TNF protein, human
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha