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Women who drink beer risk psoriasis

Beer-swilling ladettes who emulate the boys by downing pints may be increasing their risk of a disfiguring skin disease, research suggests.

Women who drank five or more beers a week doubled their chances of developing psoriasis, a large US study of nurses found.

The link was specific to regular "non-light" beers. Consuming other kinds of drinks, including reduced calorie "light" beer, red and white wine and spirits, had no effect on psoriasis risk.

Scientists believe the starchy grains in beer may account for the finding.

Starch sources, such as barley, contain gluten which is known to be associated with psoriasis.



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Dr Abrar Qureshi, from Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues wrote in the journal Archives of Dermatology: "Non-light beer was the only alcoholic beverage that increased the risk of psoriasis, suggesting that certain non-alcoholic components of beer, which are not found in wine or liquor, may play an important role in new-onset psoriasis."

The scientists examined data from almost 83,000 women aged 27 to 44 in 1991.

Psoriasis risk was 72pc greater among women who consumed an average of 2.3 or more alcoholic drinks per week.

When drinks were assessed by type, the researchers found a strong association between beer and the skin disease.

Women who drank five or more regular beers per week raised their risk of developing the condition 1.8 times.

hnews@herald.ie