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(WUSA9) -- Most peopledon't link itchy skin conditions to other major issues within the body.

However, a study released Wednesday shows a disturbing link between a common skin condition called psoriasiswith other major medical conditions. These conditions include pulmonary disease, diabetes, liver disease, heart attack and vascular disease.

The study out of theUniversity of Pennsylvania compared data fromover 9,000 patients with psoriasis. The results appear in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

7.5 million Americans are affected by the auto-immune disease.