Women who have at least five nonlight beers per week are more likely to develop psoriasis than women who do not drink alcohol, according to a recent analysis.

An evaluation of 1,069 cases of incident psoriasis occurring over 14 years among participants in the Nurses’ Health Study II indicated that a weekly intake of 2.3 or more drinks of any type (based on a 12-oz serving of nonlight or light beer, a 4-oz serving of red or white wine, and a 1.5-oz serving of liquor) raised the risk of psoriasis by 72%, compared with the risk seen in nondrinking women.

However, when each type of beverage was assessed, only nonlight beer showed an association with psoriasis risk: Women who drank at least five beers per week had a 1.8-times-greater chance of developing the condition than did the nondrinkers. That risk jumped to 2.3 times higher when the analysis included a more precise definition for psoriasis.

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In an online report for Archives of Dermatology, investigators confirmed that these associations were independent of other such potential risk factors for psoriasis as age, smoking, BMI, physical activity, and dietary folate equivalents.

The fact that nonlight beer was the only alcoholic beverage found to increase the risk for psoriasis suggests “certain nonalcoholic components of beer, which are not found in wine or liquor, may play an important role in new-onset psoriasis,” noted the authors. “One of these components may be the starch source used in making beer” [commonly barley].