Rajani Katta, MD: Chronic Inflammatory Skin Disease and Obesity Comorbidities


In her SDPA 2022 presentation interview, Dr. Katta explores gaps in knowledge regarding the connection between skin disease and dietary health, as well as ways to address these concerns.

For her HCPLive interview, Rajani Katta, MD, described some of the major points of her presentation from the SDPA 20th Annual Fall Dermatology Conference, highlighting various chronic inflammatory conditions associated with being overweight or obese.

Katta serves both as a dermatologist and a volunteer clinical faculty member at both the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Houston and Baylor College of Medicine. She has a Tulane University certification in Culinary Medicine and has written 9 books.

“Yeah, so I'll start with the fact that (with) hidradenitis suppurativa we're starting to see a lot more research on that,” she explained. “And we do not have research studies yet any robust research showing that weight loss may help in the outcome of hidradenitis suppurativa. But we do know that obesity is a common comorbidity with HS.”

Katta went on to describe a meta-analysis of 8 research studies on hidradenitis suppurativa and an association with obesity.

“And what they found was that having a diagnosis of HS, in those patients, the relative risk of obesity, you're gonna see a 3 and a half times more likely that your patient with HS is going to be dealing with obesity as compared to somebody without HS,” she said. “So, we know that the 2 seem to be linked pretty robustly. What we don't know with HS is if you treat the obesity, are you going to have improvement in HS? We're still waiting on research with that.”

Katta also went into the topic of diabetes, and potential detection strategies for the condition being added to the workflow of healthcare workers in dermatology.

“So I think, in the medical community, we are seeing an increased awareness, I think what we could do better with is incorporating some of this early diabetes detection into our workflows,” she said. “And so one of the simple things is just if somebody has an elevated BMI to just start with that question, do you have a primary care physician, and we do know that our patients with psoriasis, every single one, even the young ones, because of those elevated risks of comorbidities, they should have a primary care physician.”

The conversation went into more depth about strategies to better understand and address patient concerns in this area.

“In terms of diabetes detection, we do know that anybody over the age of 45 is at increased risk for diabetes,” she explained. “It actually doesn't matter what their weight is 45 and above, they should have had a hemoglobin A1C level checked by their primary care physician, if not, you know, that's something that we can advise them to do.”

Katta’s presentation, entitled ‘Weight a Minute: Obesity in Dermatology,’ delved into information on cutaneous effects of obesity, the links between chronic inflammatory skin diseases and systemic comorbidities, and detection strategies for diabetes being added into clinic workflow.

View the interview segment above to find out more from HCPLive’s SDPA 2022 Conference coverage.

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