Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
March 01, 2021
1 min read

Poor cardiorespiratory fitness early in life may predict psoriatic disease in men

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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Men with poor cardiorespiratory fitness levels during late adolescence were more likely to develop psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis later in life, according to a study.

“Low levels of cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with negative health outcomes. Individuals with psoriasis have lower cardiorespiratory fitness compared with individuals without psoriasis,” Marta Laskowski, of the department of dermatology and venereology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, and of the department of dermatology and venereology, Region Västra Götaland at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, and colleagues wrote. “There are no previous studies exploring the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and new-onset psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.”

The analysis included 20,679 cases of incident psoriasis and 6,133 cases of incident psoriatic arthritis observed among 1,228,562 Swedish men. Data were culled from the Swedish Military Service Conscription Register, which includes information for men in compulsory military service. Eligible participants had been registered between 1968 and 2005 and had a mean baseline age of 18.3 years.

The researchers analyzed maximum capacity cycle ergometer testing for participants at the time of conscription. Participants were grouped as having high, medium or low levels of cardiorespiratory fitness based on these data.

The study included a prolonged median follow-up period of 31 years (range, 0 to 48 years). Follow-up began at conscription and ended either with a diagnosis of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis or on Dec. 31, 2016.

Results showed that participants in the low cardiorespiratory fitness group were more likely to develop incident psoriasis (HR = 1.35; 95% CI, 1.26-1.44). Similarly, low fitness levels also predicted psoriatic arthritis onset (HR = 1.44; 95% CI, 1.28-1.63).

The researchers acknowledged that the study may have been limited by incomplete information on risk factors for psoriatic disease such as smoking and socioeconomic status. In addition, the mechanism of how cardiorespiratory fitness may mitigate psoriatic disease risk also remains unclear.

“These novel findings suggest that low cardiorespiratory fitness at an early age is associated with increased risk of incident psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis among men and highlight the importance of assessing cardiorespiratory fitness early in life,” the researchers wrote.