People with psoriasis appear to be at higher risk of depression.
A recent study provides more evidence that patients with psoriasis–even mild cases–face a higher risk of major depression, a finding that could lead dermatologists to alert patients with the condition and even screen them for mental health issues.
It’s not clear how psoriasis and depression are linked. Still, “psoriasis patients should be counseled that psoriasis, a treatable disease, may place them at an elevated risk of depression,” says study co-author Roger S. Ho, MD, MS, MPH, an assistant Professor of Dermatology with the New York University School of Medicine/Langone Medical Center. “However, many patients may not be cognizant of their own depression symptoms. As a result, dermatologists should be aware that all patients with psoriasis may benefit from depression screening.”
Psoriasis isn’t the only skin condition to be linked to mental illness. “There is an emerging literature on the association of skin diseases and depression,” said Madhulika A. Gupta, MD, professor with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Western Ontario. According to Dr. Gupta, studies typically link depression to the effect of the diseases on quality of life. But psoriasis is unusual among diseases linked to depression because it’s been linked to especially high levels of psychiatric problems, including suicidal thoughts, he said.
In the recent study, which appears in the January 2016 issue of JAMA Dermatology, Dr. Ho and colleagues examine the results of questionnaires given to 12,382 people as part of the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2009 and 2012. They focused on 351 people with psoriasis (2.8%) and 968 who showed signs of major depression (16.5%).
Read Full Article: More evidence links psoriasis to depression | Dermatology Times
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