Psoriasis patients’ knowledge of comorbidities

Introduction: It is well established that moderate to severe psoriasis increases cardiovascular (CV) mortality and risk factors including dyslipidaemia, hypertension and diabetes. Recent data has suggested that patients with psoriasis are not aware of these comorbidities1. This study aims to demonstrate the extent to which Australian psoriasis patients are aware of the CV morbidity and mortality associated with psoriasis.
Method: Patients with psoriasis were approached during their usual dermatology appointments and asked to fill out a survey. The questions were based on a survey demonstrated to be reliable in collecting information regarding psoriasis from psoriasis patients2. Data was collected regarding patients’ CV co-morbidities as well as their knowledge and awareness of associated conditions.
Results: Interim data included 157 psoriasis patients; 44.6% (70/157) were female. The mean age was 52 (range 18 to 91). Regarding CV awareness, 51.0% (80) of patients identified that psoriasis was associated with heart disease and 55.8% (87/157) believed that psoriasis affected other organs apart from skin. Only 25.5% (40/157) of participants identified that psoriasis was a risk factor for being overweight. Correctly identifying CV comorbidities was associated with age (p=0.033) and being overweight or obese (p=0.042). When asked about psychological comorbidities, 94.9 (149/157) believed that stress and anxiety worsens psoriasis and 84.7 (133/157) identified that psoriasis is associated with mood disorders such as depression.
1. Skiveren J, Philisen P, Therming G. Patients with psoriasis have insufficient knowledge of their risk of atherothrombotic disease and metabolic syndrome. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. 2015.
2. Bardazzi F, Amerio P, Amoruso G, Campanati A, Conti A, De Simone C, Gisondi P, Gualdi G, Guarneri C, Loconsole F, Mazzotta A, Musumeci ML, Odorici G, Piaserico S, Potenza C, Scudeller L. Investigating psoriasis awareness among patients in Italy: validation of a questionnaire. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2014; 18: 3435-3452.

Dr. Philippa Dickison