(HealthDay News) – Vigorous physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of psoriasis in women.

Hillary C. Frankel, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a cohort study to investigate the association between physical activity and psoriasis among 86,655 US female nurses who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Participants completed detailed physical activity questionnaires in 1991, 1997, and 2001, and reported whether they had ever been diagnosed with psoriasis.

During 1,195,703 person-years of follow-up (14 years), the researchers identified 1,026 incident psoriasis cases. Increasing physical activity was inversely associated with the risk of psoriasis, after adjustment for age, smoking, and alcohol use. Compared with the least active quintile, the most physically active quintile of women had a significantly lower multivariate-adjusted relative risk (RR) of psoriasis (0.72). Vigorous physical activity (≥6 metabolic equivalents) correlated with a significantly reduced risk of psoriasis (RR, 0.66), and the association persisted after adjustment for body mass index (RR, 0.73). There was no correlation between walking and the risk of psoriasis.

“We found that vigorous physical activity was independently associated with a reduced risk of incident psoriasis,” the authors write. “The observed dose-response gradient with increased physical activity supports a causal association between physical activity and a reduced risk of psoriasis.”

One author disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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