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Prevalence of Psoriasis Among Adults in the U.S.

2003–2006 and 2009–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys

      Background

      A 2010 CDC-sponsored consultation of psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and public health experts developed a public health agenda for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis indicating that additional population-based research is needed to better characterize psoriasis in the population.

      Purpose

      To better characterize the burden of psoriasis in the U.S. using recent population-based, cross-sectional data in this 2012 analysis.

      Methods

      A subset of 10,676 adults aged 20–59 years from the 2003–2006 and 2009–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys was used to examine psoriasis prevalence, severity, disparities, health-related quality of life, and selected comorbidities.

      Results

      The overall prevalence of psoriasis was 3.1% (95% CI=2.6, 3.6); extrapolating to older adults suggests that 6.7 million adults aged ≥20 years are affected. Psoriasis was significantly more prevalent among non-Hispanic whites than other race/ethnicity subgroups, as well as among those with arthritis. Approximately 82% reported no/little or mild disease; the impact of psoriasis on daily life increased with disease severity (p=0.0001 for trend). Those with psoriasis reported significantly more frequent mental distress or mild to severe depression than those without psoriasis. Psoriasis was also significantly associated with obesity and former smoking status.

      Conclusions

      Psoriasis is a large public health problem. Further characterizing psoriasis from a public health perspective will require better survey questions and inclusion of these questions in national surveys.
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