Patients with psoriasis covering 10% or more of their bodies are at almost double the risk of death, according to a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. It is the first study to link the severity of psoriasis to an increased risk of death using body surface area (BSA), an objective measure of disease severity, rather than according to treatment modalities (oral, injectable, or phototherapy).
“It’s well established that psoriasis is associated with an increased risk for other comorbidities like chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, but we don’t yet understand how the severity of psoriasis impacts future risk of major health problems,” said senior author Joel M. Gelfand, MD, MSCE, professor of dermatology and epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
Dr. Gelfand and colleagues used a database from the United Kingdom to identify 8,760 patients with psoriasis and 87,600 individuals without it. Patients’ general practitioners were sent a survey to determine the body surface area affected by psoriasis, and researchers used BSA, a measurement of the percentage of the body covered by psoriasis. The number of deaths in each group by person-years was determined.