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January 1989

Exacerbation of Psoriasis

Author Affiliations

First Department of Medicine Helsinki University Central Hospital SF-00290 Helsinki, Finland

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(1):132. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670130134023

To the Editor.—  The report of a single case of exacerbation of psoriasis1 by gemfibrozil prompted us to review reports of psoriasis during the Helsinki Heart Study.2 The Helsinki Heart Study was a five-year double-blind primary prevention study involving 4081 hypercholesterolemic middle-aged men randomized to either placebo (n = 2035) or gemfibrozil, 1200 mg/d (n = 2046). There were nine reports of psoriasis in eight subjects; seven subjects in the placebo group (Fisher's exact test, P =.038, two-tailed). One subject in the placebo group reported having had psoriasis previously before entering the study; the remaining cases were all new diagnoses.It is perhaps premature to conclude on the basis of a single case of exacerbation of psoriasis that gemfibrozil should be added to the list of medications that provoke or exacerbate psoriasis. Data from the Helsinki Heart Study suggest strongly that gemfibrozil treatment does not increase the risk of developing psoriasis.