Impact of biologic agents on body weight and obesity-related disorders in patients with psoriasis: A nationwide population-based cohort study

Obes Res Clin Pract. 2023 May-Jun;17(3):210-217. doi: 10.1016/j.orcp.2023.05.004. Epub 2023 May 19.


Objective: This large-scale population-based study aimed to analyze the effects of biologic agents on body weight and obesity-related disorders in patients with psoriasis for 10 years (January 2010 to December 2019), using the customized database provided by the Korean National Health Insurance Service.

Methods: The demographic data and health charts of 620,885 psoriasis patients, divided into three groups according to their treatment modalities (biologics, non-biologic systemic agents, and other agents), were analyzed.

Results: Patients with severe psoriasis who were prescribed biologic agents had a higher rate of comorbidities, such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, fatty liver, increased body weight, body mass index, and waist circumference than those in the other treatment groups. We found that the use of biologic agents was a significant independent risk factor for gaining weight after correcting for age, sex, initial weight, total prescription period, duration between the weight measurements before and after psoriasis treatment, exercise, smoking, drinking and presence of comorbidities. In contrast, the use of non-biologic systemic agents was not a significant independent risk factor for weight change. Gender-stratified regression analysis found that biologics were an independent variable affecting weight change for men, but not for women.

Conclusions: Patients with severe psoriasis who are prescribed biologic agents tend to have a higher body weight and a higher prevalence of obesity-related disorders than those in other treatment groups. Caution must be exercised when using biologics, as they may cause additional weight gain, especially in men.

Keywords: Biologics; Body weight; Obesity-relate disorders; Population-based; Psoriasis.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Factors
  • Biological Products* / therapeutic use
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications
  • Psoriasis* / complications
  • Psoriasis* / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis* / epidemiology
  • Weight Gain


  • Biological Factors
  • Biological Products