Gaining extra weight may possibly increase a person’s risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, medical experts say. It is a type of arthritic inflammation that occurs in about 15 percent of patients who have skin rash called psoriasis. This particular arthritis may affect any joint in the body and that persistent inflammation from the disease may lead to joint damage which may require a person to undergo surgical procedure such as those of the controversial faulty DePuy ASR hip replacement which is now being touted as its first hip implant lawsuit in Ireland.


The new research has implicated psoriatic arthritis as an additional disease that may be triggered when a person gains weight and may lead to severe complications.


It has been known that being overweight or obese increases a person’s chances of developing psoriasis. But in the new study, published recently in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, researchers report a link between body mass index or BMI, and psoriatic arthritis, too.


According to the study author, Thorvardur Jon Love, an assistant professor of rheumatology at  Landspitali University Hospital in Reykjavik, Iceland, psoriasis patients have an increased risk of psoriatic arthritis if they are heavy. As they conducted their study in a group of people, they split  them up by weight groups,  which  made them conclude that there is a graded effect – the heavier people are, the greater the risk, according to the Arthritis Today website.


Researchers gathered data from more than 75,000 psoriasis patients listed in a United Kingdom database between 1995 and 2010. They analyzed the BMI of patients when they were first diagnosed with psoriasis, and found that the higher the BMI, the greater the likelihood of subsequently developing the diseas. Having a BMI between 25 and 29.9 increases the risk of developing psoriatic arthritis by nine percent, compared with someone of normal weight, with a BMI lower than 25. Obesity (BMI between 30 and 34.9) raises the risk by 22 percent, and morbid obesity (BMI of 35 or greater) by 48 percent.


Psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune condition, is a form of inflammatory arthritis that affects an estimated six to 10 percent of people with of the skin condition psoriasis and up to 40 percent of those with extensive psoriasis. It can also affect people who do not have the skin disease.


“It’s a concern that the percentages are as large as they are and the risk increases as much as it does, especially when you get in the higher weight groups,” Dr. Love says. The study also found that extra pounds increased the risk of developing psoriatic arthritis even among those who did not have psoriasis.


Researchers say the increased risk could be because fat tissue – also called adipose tissue – overproduces inflammatory cytokines (or proteins) in the body.


“If you are obese, some inflammatory markers are elevated on a daily basis,” Dr. Love explains. “Because of this elevated inflammatory state you find in obese individuals, they may be more sensitive to triggers that lead to arthritis.”


Researchers believe their findings bolster the argument that a healthy weight improves overall health.


Research-backed advice has it for people to lessen the risk of having damaged joints by undergoing regular check-up,  especially men and women who have relatives with psoriasis and most especially have a physical activity which may help maintain joint movement and prevent oneself stricken with the disease, and which may lead to DePuy hip problems later on.