The Impact of Diet and Exercise in Psoriasis

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It is well established that increased body mass index and weight gain are risk factors for psoriasis, and the prevalence of obesity in patients with psoriasis is higher than in the general population. However, there are limited data concerning the role of diet and exercise in psoriasis.

Naldi et al (Br J Dermatol. 2014;170:634-642) assessed the impact of dietary intervention in combination with physical exercise for weight loss on improving psoriasis in overweight or obese individuals. The investigators evaluated 303 overweight or obese patients with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis who did not achieve clearance after 4 weeks of continuous systemic treatment. Patients were randomized to 2 regimens: a 20-week quantitative and qualitative dietary plan associated with physical exercise for weight loss, or simple informative counseling at baseline about the utility of weight loss for clinical control of psoriatic disease. The main outcome was any reduction of the psoriasis area and severity index (PASI) from baseline to week 20.

Analysis of the intention-to-treat population showed a median reduction in the PASI score of 48% (95% confidence interval, 33.3%-58.3%) in the diet arm and 25.5% (95% confidence interval, 18.2%-33.3%) in the counseling arm (P=.02). The weight-loss target (a ≥5% reduction from baseline) was reached by 29.8% of patients in the diet arm compared to 14.5% in the counseling arm (P=.001).

The authors concluded that a 20-week dietetic intervention associated with increased physical exercise reduced psoriasis severity in systemically treated overweight or obese patients with active psoriasis.

What’s the issue?

As we would expect, a direct dietary intervention had a great impact on the study population. Will you try to adopt a structured dietary intervention in your patient population?

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