Patients with psoriasis have an increased risk for mental disorders, with time to onset starting within two to three months after diagnosis, according to two research letters published online May 8 in JAMA Dermatology. Michelle Z. Leisner, M.P.H., from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues examined the correlation between psoriasis and subsequent development of mental health disorders among 13,675 individuals with psoriasis and population-comparison cohort members.
Life cycle of skin cells
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. It causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes painful. Psoriasis is a chronic disease that often comes and goes. The main goal of treatment is to stop the skin cells from growing so quickly.
There is no cure for psoriasis, but you can manage symptoms. Lifestyle measures, such as moisturizing, quitting smoking and managing stress, may help. Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas. Most types of psoriasis go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a time or even going into complete remission.
The researchers found that for any mental disorder; so the 5- and 10-year cumulative incidences were 2.6 and 4.9%, respectively. Relative to the general population cohort; hence the hazard ratio for any mental disorder was 1.75. For selected mental disorders, the hazard ratios were 1.73 for vascular dementia, 1.64 for schizophrenia, 2.33 for bipolar disorder, 1.72 for unipolar depression, 1.88 for generalized anxiety disorder, and 2.06 for personality disorders.
Mental health comorbidities
Chul Hwan Bang, M.D., from The Catholic University of Korea in Seoul; also colleagues used data from South Korea’s Health Insurance Research and Assessment Agency to examine how long it takes for mental health comorbidities to appear after psoriasis diagnosis. The study population included 12,762 patients with psoriasis.
Compared with controls, the researchers find that the risks; so for depressive episodes, anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, neurotic disorders; also nonorganic sleep disorders were 2.19, 2.92, 2.62, 2.66, and 2.58 times higher, respectively, in patients with psoriasis. The times to onset were 196.7, 86.1, 86.3, 224.2, and 94.2 days, respectively.
Early initiation of appropriate treatment for skin diseases is important in decreasing mental health comorbidities; write the authors of an accompanying editorial. Even in our fast-paced clinics, screening for mental disorders; hence in high-risk populations can be worthwhile. One author from the Leisner study disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; a second author reports a patent pending.