COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Researchers have found that weight loss has a significant and prolonged positive impact on psoriasis symptoms in adults.
A study, by the Herlev and Gentofte Hospital and the University of Copenhagen's Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, showed improved psoriasis symptoms in participants who lost an average of 33 pounds over a 16-week period.
Researchers followed 60 test participants who lost between 10 to 15 percent of their body weight and revisited them a year later.
"When we revisited test subjects one year later, they had only regained five kilos [11 pounds]," Dr. Peter Jensen, senior resident, Ph.D., at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, said in a press release. "Thus, they remained 10 kilos [22 pounds] beneath their starting weights. This was impressive in and of itself, but it was even more positive that they had maintained the effects of their initial weight loss with regards to the diminished severity of their psoriasis and quality of life."
According to Professor Lone Skov, senior physician at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital's Department of Dermatology and Allergy and project manager of the study, "150,000 Danes suffer from varying degrees of psoriasis."
"We know that both psoriasis and obesity are linked with an increased incidence of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes," Professor Arne Astrup, co-author of the study, said in a press release. "If we could get obese psoriasis patients to lose weight and keep the weight off, we could potentially derive positive effects on their overall health and quality of life."
Results demonstrated that weight loss led to significantly better quality of life and reduced psoriasis symptoms in the long run.
"The results underscore the importance of focusing on weight loss as one element in a broad spectrum approach to effective psoriasis treatment for overweight patients," Astrup said. "A by-product of weight loss might be a reduction of the complications associated with obesity. This results in a significant effect on the overall well-being of patients."
The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.