Vigorous Physical Activity Reduces Risk Of PsoriasisJune 4th, 2012 | Posted by in Men | Prevention | Teen | Women
Like most autoimmune diseases, the “how and whys” of psoriasis are relatively unknown in common medical circles. What is known is tremendous pain and suffering that results from psoriasis. Those with the disease often suffer from red and white, inflamed patches on the surface of their skin which often are very itchy and painful. A recent research paper published in the Archives of Dermatology revealed that there may be one key thing psoriasis sufferers can do to possibly reduce their symptoms. Researchers found that vigorous activity can reduce the risk of the disease, which has been associated with type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, coronary artery disease and breast cancer.
From the study:
Our results suggest that participation in at least 20.9 MET (metabolic equivalent task)-hours per week of vigorous exercise, the equivalent of 105 minutes of running or 180 minutes of swimming or playing tennis, is associated with a 25 percent to 30 percent reduced risk of psoriasis compared with not participating in any vigorous exercise.
Hillary C. Frankel, A.B., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and her colleagues used data from the Nurses’ Health Study II as the basis for their research. The study consisted of a questionnaire given to 90,000 women during the years of 1991, 1997 and 2001. They discovered a little over 1000 cases of psoriasis but continued to look for a link between vigorous physical activity and the presence of the disease. Those women who were physically active showed a lower multivariate relative risk of psoriasis (0.72) than sedentary women. Walking was not considered in the study as it not a form of vigorous physical activity.
The study continues:
Among the individual vigorous activities we evaluated, only running and performing aerobic exercise or calisthenics were associated with a reduced risk of psoriasis. Other vigorous activities, including jogging, playing tennis, swimming and bicycling were not associated with psoriasis risk … The highly variable intensity at which these activities are performed may account for this finding.
Although they consider their findings to be important, the authors of the study assert that more research into the link between heavy exercise and lessened occurrences of psoriasis is absolutely needed. They summarize their findings:
In addition to providing other health benefits, participation in vigorous exercise may represent a new preventive measure for women at high risk of developing psoriasis. Additional corroborative studies and further investigations into the mechanisms by which physical activity protects against new-onset psoriasis are needed.