Healthy Lifestyle May Lower Psoriasis Risk, Despite Genetic Predisposition – Dermatology Advisor

A healthy lifestyle is associated with a lower risk for psoriasis irrespective of genetic susceptibility, according to study findings published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Researchers in  China sought to evaluate the gene-behavior interaction in association with incident psoriasis. The prospective cohort study was based on data obtained from the UK Biobank. The healthy lifestyle score consisted of body mass index, smoking, physical activity, and diet. Overall healthy lifestyle was stratified into 3 groups: the ideal (having at least 3 ideal lifestyle factors), poor (having at least 3 poor lifestyle factors), or intermediate (all other combinations). In each genetic risk group, the team investigated the risks for incident psoriasis associated with each lifestyle level and compared them with the low genetic risk and ideal lifestyle group.

The researchers analyzed data from a total of 345,672 participants (mean age, 56.53 years; age range, 40 to 70 years, 179,892 women). The average follow-up period was 10.88 years.

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The poor lifestyle and high genetic risk group was associated with a hazard ratio of up to 4.625 (95% CI, 2.920-7.348) for psoriasis, compared with the low genetic risk and ideal lifestyle group. The researchers found no interaction between genetic risk and lifestyle. They noted that the population attributable fractions of lifestyle and genetic risk were 32.2% (95% CI, 25.1%-38.6%) and 13.0% (95% CI, 3.2%-21.8%), respectively. The strongest risk factor for developing psoriasis was smoking, followed by body mass index, according to the report.

Limitations of the study include that only individuals with European ancestry were taken into account, lifestyle factors were only examined at baseline, failure to identify other factors beyond the 4 lifestyle indicators, possibility of selection bias due to the use of hazard ratios, and the exclusion of younger participants and those with psoriasis at baseline.

The researchers conclude that “lifestyle factors are predictive of risk of incident psoriasis independent of genetic risk, and the relative impact of lifestyle factors was greater than genetic risk.” They also highlight the importance of “an integrated intervention for the prevention of psoriasis despite the genetic risk.”

Disclosure: This research was supported by multiple sources. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Shen M, Xiao Y, Jing D, et al. Associations of Combined Lifestyle and Genetic Risks with Incident Psoriasis: A Prospective Cohort Study among UK Biobank Participants of European Ancestry.J Am Acad Dermatol. Published online April 12, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2022.04006