A case-control study of 110 consecutive psoriatic outpatients and 200 unmatched controls was carried out in order to analyze the association of psoriasis with smoking habits, alcohol consumption, family history of psoriasis and stressful life events. Stressful life events were assessed with Paykel's Interview for Recent Life Events, a semi-structured interview covering 63 life events. According to our results, the risk of psoriasis is higher in urban dwellers (odds ratio [OR] = 3.61; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.99-13.18), patients who were divorced (OR = 5.69; 95% CI = 2.26-14.34) and those exposed to environmental tobacco smoke at home (OR = 2.29; 95% CI = 1.12-4.67). Alcohol consumption (OR = 2.55; 95% CI = 1.26-5.17), family history of psoriasis (OR = 33.96; 95% CI = 14.14-81.57) and change in work conditions (OR = 8.34; 95% CI = 1.86-37.43) are also risk factors for psoriasis. Separate analyses for men and women showed that the risk of developing psoriasis was stronger in men with a family history of psoriasis (OR = 30.39; 95% CI = 6.72-137.42) than in women (OR = 16.99; 95% CI = 7.21-40.07). The effect of environmental tobacco smoke at home was found only in women (OR = 2.44; 95% CI = 1.26-4.73). Future well-designed epidemiological studies need to be performed in order to determine whether lifestyle factors and stress could be risk factors triggering or aggravating psoriasis.