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Efficacy of diet and weight loss in improving psoriasis

What we do

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that can be associated with different, mainly dysmetabolic, comorbidities. It requires systemic treatments if present in severe form. When there is a discontinuation of treatment, psoriasis inevitably relapses.

Centro Studi GISED had developed and coordinated a study that was conducted in the Dermatology Units (Hospital and University) of the Emilia Romagna Italian region, which involved the articulation of the two main components of research:

  1. to establish a network of clinical research in order to address controversial aspects in the management of psoriasis with shared criteria;
  2. to conduct a study answering the question "Does an intensive intervention of weight loss in obese psoriatic patients improve the clinical control of the disease after a minimum follow-up 20 weeks?"

The study, a multicenter randomized controlled clinical trial with the aim to evaluate the impact of a non-pharmacological intervention consisting of an intensive weight loss (obtained with dietary changes associated with physical exercise) compared to an informative counseling about the utility of weight reduction in the clinical control of psoriasis, was conducted between February 2011 and January 2012 (1).

The study included patients with chronic plaque psoriasis, with BMI>25 kg/m, treated with systemic agents or candidates for these treatments and involved 11 Dermatology Units located in different cities of Emilia Romagna.

The results of the study were published in the British Journal of Dermatology: at the end of the follow-up period a 48% reduction in the PASI score was observed in the intervention group compared to 25.5% in the control group. The weight was reduced in 29.8% of patients who followed diet and physical exercise against 14.5% of the control group.

In conclusion, a dietary intervention in combination with physical exercise for a period of at least 20 weeks has been shown to help reducing the severity of psoriasis in overweight or obese patients with active psoriasis (2).

  1. http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01714284
  2. Naldi L, Conti A, Cazzaniga S, et al; the Psoriasis Emilia Romagna Study Group. Diet and physical exercise in psoriasis: a randomized controlled trial. Br J Dermatol. 2014;170:634-642.

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