Men face a higher prevalence of severe psoriasis

Researchers have long believed that men are more affected by severe psoriasis than women.  A recently published study of 5,438 Swedish psoriasis patients compared psoriasis registers and gender care costs and concluded that there is a higher prevalence of the more severe disease in men. (1)  Furthermore, they concluded that the higher prevalence of disease severity results in disproportionate care costs for men versus women.

“Our results tell us that the well-established gender differences in the utilization of psoriasis care can at least partially be explained by a higher prevalence of more severe disease in men,” says Marcus Schmitt-Egenolf, who is a researcher at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umeå University and senior author of the study.

Researchers analyzed the Swedish quality register for systemic treatment of psoriasis, PsoReg, and found that women had significantly lower median Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) values than men.  This study is the very first to look at gender differences in psoriasis severity using the PASI score. Results of higher psoriasis severity in men were consistent across all age groups and body areas, excluding the head.

Psoriasis affects about 3% of the population globally, with approximately 20% of those affected having moderate-to-severe psoriasis, covering more than 5 percent of their body surface area (BSA). (2) Researchers argue that care for men with severe psoriasis should be tailored and managed differently than women.   “These findings should motivate a gender perspective in the management of severe psoriasis and its comorbidities, such as cardiovascular and metabolic disease,” says Marcus Schmitt-Egenolf.

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  1. David Hägg, Anders Sundström, Marie Eriksson, Marcus Schmitt-Egenolf. Severity of Psoriasis Differs Between Men and Women: A Study of the Clinical Outcome Measure Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) in 5438 Swedish Register Patients. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2017; DOI: 10.1007/s40257-017-0274-0
  2. Menter A, Gottlieb A, Feldman SR, Van Voorhees AS et al. Guidelines of care for the management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: Section 1. Overview of psoriasis and guidelines of care for the treatment of psoriasis with biologics. J Am Acad Dermatol 2008 May;58(5):826-50.