Psoriasis and depression linked

Aug. 17, 2010 at 11:50 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- TV ads used to decry the "heartbreak of psoriasis" and now U.S. doctors have linked the skin condition to depression.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia say those with psoriasis appear to have an increased risk of anxiety and suicidal thoughts, as well.

Dr. Shanu Kohli Kurd and colleagues used electronic records to study diagnostic codes for new-onset depression, anxiety, or suicidal thought in British patients -- including 149,998 with psoriasis, and as controls, 766,950 without psoriasis.

The report, published in the Archives of Dermatology, found in patients with all types of psoriasis, 25.9 per 1,000 individuals per year were diagnosed with depression, 20.9 per 1,000 per year with anxiety and 0.9 per 1,000 per year with suicidal thoughts.

"The excess risk attributable to psoriasis is one case of depression for every 39 patients with severe psoriasis " the authors said in a statement. "The excess risks associated with psoriasis for anxiety and suicidal thoughts correspond to one case per 123 and 2,500 patients with psoriasis per year, respectively."

They suggest future studies are necessary to determine the mechanisms by which psoriasis is associated with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts as well as how to prevent such adverse outcomes in psoriasis patients.

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