ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
Breast-feeding Might Shield Women From Rheumatoid Arthritis
Extra Pounds in Mid-Life Affect Later Mobility
CANCER
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
CAREGIVING
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Even in 'Last Supper,' Portion Sizes Have Grown
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
Compound in Red Wine Fights Ravages of Age
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Are Medical Meetings Environmentally Unfriendly?
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
FITNESS
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Bursts of Vigorous Activity Appear to Be a 'Stress-Buffer'
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Drink Away Dementia?
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
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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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