STOCKHOLM (Dispatches) -- Scientists at University of Gothenburg, Sweden recently demonstrated a connection between inferior physical fitness in young adults and elevated risk of the autoimmune disease psoriasis.
The study was based on data on more than 1.2 million men conscripted, aged 18, into the Swedish Armed Forces between the years 1968 and 2005. During the enrollment process, all these young men underwent the same fitness test on an exercise bicycle. The researchers divided the data, according to how fit the men were, into three levels (low, medium, and high fitness). They then merged the data with other registers, using Sweden’s National Patient Register to obtain diagnostic codes for psoriasis and the joint disease psoriatic arthritis.
As a result, the less fit the men were when they were recruited, the higher the proportion of them who later fell ill with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. In the low-fitness group, the risk of developing psoriasis was 35 percent higher, and that of developing psoriatic arthritis 44 percent higher, than in the high-fitness group.