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Study shows severe psoriasis mostly affects men

The study was the first to investigate sex differences in psoriasis severity using PASI score standard severity measurement.

By Amy Wallace
Study shows severe psoriasis mostly affects men
Marcus Schmitt-Egenolf is a researcher at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at UmeƄ University and senior author of the study that found men are affected by severe psoriasis significantly more than women. Photo by Mattias Pettersson

March 24 (UPI) -- A team of researchers at Umea University in Sweden found men are affected by severe psoriasis disproportionately more than women.

The study of 5,438 psoriasis patients in Sweden showed that women have a significantly lower incidence of severe psoriasis than men, results they say should cause doctors and nurses to consider gender for diagnosis and treatment of the condition.

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"Our results tell us that the well-established gender differences in the utilization of psoriasis care can at least partially be explained by a higher prevalence of more severe disease in men," Marcus Schmitt-Egenolf, a researcher at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umea University, said in a press release.

The study was based on the Swedish quality register for systemic treatment of psoriasis, or PsoReg, which has detailed disease measurement data on all patients measured with the Psoriasis Area Severity Index, or PASI.

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Researchers found that women had 5.4 PASI scores, which was significantly lower than men who had a score of 7.3.

"These findings should motivate a gender perspective in the management of severe psoriasis and its comorbidities, such as cardiovascular and metabolic disease," Schmitt-Egenolf said. "For over 70 years, psoriasis researchers have speculated that women have less severe psoriasis compared to men. Our study is the first to investigate sex differences in psoriasis severity using the golden standard of severity measurement, the PASI score. Furthermore, we have also looked more in-depth at distinct elements of the PASI score. The results allow us to verify this thesis in a nationwide population."

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He added that further research is needed in different populations to understand more specific differences in the condition between patients.

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The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology.

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