Psoriasis may increase risk of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts

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Psoriasis is a relatively common skin condition but the effect of psoriasis may go a lot deeper than affecting just the skin.

A study conducted by Shanu Kohli Kurd and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania found that people suffering from psoriasis are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and are at greater risk of suicidal thoughts.

The researchers discovered this by analysing the medical records of hundreds of thousands patients in the UK. Almost 150,000 had mild psoriasis, around 4,000 had severe psoriasis and 767,000 did not suffer from psoriasis at all.

The authors of the study said that the risk attributable to psoriasis is one case of depression a year for every 39 patients with severe psoriasis or one case of depression a year for every 87 patients with mild psoriasis.

In the case of anxiety and suicidal thinking the figures were one case in 123 for those with severe psoriasis and one case in 2,500 for those with mild psoriasis.

Taking the data into consideration along with the prevalence of psoriasis the authors reckon that there are more than 10,400 diagnoses of depression, 7,100 of anxiety and 350 of suicidality related to psoriasis in the UK each year.

Younger people and men with severe psoriasis were at a significantly higher risk of suffering from depression, anxiety and suicidal thinking.

It is already known that there is an association between psoriasis and depression but this is the first major study that has identified a clear link between mental health risks and psoriasis. The results have been published in the August issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

According to the Psoriasis Association in the UK psoriasis affects up to 3 percent of the population in the UK and Ireland. It is a condition whereby the process of skin replacement speeds up quite significantly resulting in an accumulation of skin cells on the surface of the skin in the form of a psoriatic plaque.

There are different types of psoriasis but the most common type affecting around 80 percent of people with psoriasis is psoriasis Vulgaris in which the raised red lesions or plaques tend to appear on the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp. However, any area of the body can be affected.

Kurd’s study may help inform health professionals about the risk of mental health problems in psoriasis sufferers leading to newer targeted interventions for these groups of individuals.

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2 Comments

  1. kevin edwards
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    i have had psoriasis for over 30 years, it now covers 70% of my body,and that’s after 30 years of treatment, at what is supossed to be one of the best dermatology units in the country, salford royal hospital,my social life is non existent, i can’t find a job because i look a mess. i have psoratic arthritus, i feel suicidal,

  2. admin
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Hey There

    Google “dave Hompes” or h plyori symptoms and try looking down that route , he belives that alot of skin infections are related to bowel health , bacteria , parasites etc hope this helps.

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