How Is Psoriasis Risk Affected By Cigarette Smoking?

A history of cigarette smoking is associated with increased risk of psoriasis in the general population, according to the results of a recent meta-analysis.

The researchers conducted a systematic literature review of publications from January 1980 to July 2019 on the effects of cigarette smoking on incidence of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) (52 and 24 articles, respectively). Of the articles, 16 on psoriasis, 3 articles on PsA in the general population, and 4 articles on PsA and psoriasis met inclusion criteria.

Overall, the researchers found that ever smoking was more common among patients with psoriasis than in the general population (odds ratio [OR] 1.84; 95% CI: 1.4, 2.3), while the prevalence of ever smoking was reduced in patients with PsA and psoriasis (OR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.60, 0.81) but was unchanged compared with the general population (OR: 1.10; 95% CI: 0.92, 1.32).

“This meta-analysis showed that ever smoking increases the risk of psoriasis in the general population but may reduce the risk of PsA in psoriasis patients. The latter may be also due to the collider effect. Whether smoking cessation neutralizes the risk of developing psoriasis requires a well-defined smoking data collection for the past history and this is currently unavailable in the literature,” the authors concluded.

—Michael Potts


Gazel U, Ayan G, Solmaz D, et al. The impact of smoking on prevalence of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Published online June 4, 2020. Rheumatology. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keaa179