Psoriasis Patients at Increased Risk of Depression

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Psoriasis Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by red and inflamed skin patches that are covered with white or silvery scales. The disease is thought to affect 7.5 million Americans, or three to four percent of the American population.

In a new study published in JAMA Dermatology, researchers found that psoriasis is linked to an increased risk of depression; however, the risk appears unrelated to the severity of depression.

Researchers analyzed data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) participants from 2009 to 2012. Major depression diagnosis was made from a health questionnaire. The study was adjusted for cardiovascular risk since psoriasis and depression are also linked to cardiovascular disease.

The researchers found 968 major depression cases (7.8%) and 351 psoriasis cases (2.8%) among a sample of 12,382 American residents. Fifty-eight psoriasis patients (16.5%) also met the criteria for major depression. The team found that the average health questionnaire score was greater among participants with a history of psoriasis compared to those without.

Further analysis suggested major depression risk was not contingent with the extent of the psoriasis. Also, a history of cardiovascular events did not affect major depression risk in psoriasis patients. That being said, 23.6% of psoriasis patients reported that depression symptoms cause impairment in daily functioning, compared to 15.4% of those without psoriasis.

The authors note that all psoriasis patients may benefit from being screened for depression as well.

Sources for Today’s Article:
Cohen, B.E., et al., “Psoriasis and the Risk of Depression in the US Population,” JAMA Dermatology 2015, doi: 10.1001/jmdermatol.2015.3605.
“Psoriasis patients at increased risk for depression,” Medical News Today web site, October 1, 2015;
“Psoriasis, Risk of Depression in the U.S. Population,” JAMA Network web site, September 30, 2015;