ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
CANCER
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
CAREGIVING
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
DIET, NUTRITION
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Eating Free Range
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Small Doses of Carbon Monoxide Might Help Stroke Victims
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Simple Holistic Approach to Fight the Common Cold
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Drink Away Dementia?
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
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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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