ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
Extra Pounds in Mid-Life Affect Later Mobility
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
CANCER
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
CAREGIVING
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Smog Tougher on the Obese
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
EYE CARE, VISION
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
FITNESS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
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With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- People with psoriasis can get valuable educational, psychological and social support from online communities, a U.S. study finds.

It included 260 adults who took part in one of five online support groups. The participants -- mostly white, female, college-educated and averaging 40 years old -- included 188 (73.7 percent) with moderate or severe psoriasis and 206 (79.9 percent) who rated their health as average or better.

The availability of resources was the key factor in their use of an online support group, followed by convenience, access to good advice and lack of embarrassment when dealing with personal issues. In addition, about three-fourths of the participants said anonymity was an important feature of online support use.

The study found that 49.5 percent of participants said they believed their quality of life improved, and 41 percent perceived improvements in psoriasis severity, after they joined an online group. The findings were published in the January issue of Archives of Dermatology.

"Although online psoriasis support groups are still in their nascent stage, they have captured a loyal and growing audience," wrote Shereene Z. Idriss and colleagues at the Center for Connected Health, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, all in Boston. "The dermatology community should consider leveraging the infrastructure of online support groups to build on delivering personalized and integrated medical care to individuals affected by psoriasis."

Psoriasis, a disease that causes skin and joint problems, affects 0.6 percent to 4.8 percent of the world's population, according to background information in the study. The disease can also affect financial, emotional and sexual well-being, and about 10 percent of people with psoriasis have contemplated suicide, the study said in explaining the need for psychological support for people with the disease.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about psoriasis.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Jan. 19, 2009

Last Updated: Jan. 22, 2009

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