Previous studies point to poorly understood relationships between psoriasis and mental health, and researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine sought to address this knowledge gap. The researchers looked at data from the National Inpatient Sample recorded between 2002 and 2012 and an additional 20 percent sample of all U.S. hospitalizations. They found that psychiatric hospitalizations were much more common for people with psoriasis than those without; in fact, the rates were nearly double (4.04 percent with psoriasis vs. 2.21 percent without psoriasis).
The researchers analyzed the correlation between psoriasis and the following mental health disorders: anxiety, schizophrenia, personality disorder, depression, substance use disorders, history of mental health disorder, alcohol-related conditions, adjustment disorders, and cognitive disorders. Having psoriasis increases a person’s odds of being admitted to a psychiatric unit for any mental health disorder, including nine out of the 15 mental-health-specific disorders mentioned.
These rates of hospitalization for mental health disorders were also similar for children patients with psoriasis. Psoriasis was more prevalent than other skin conditions such as alopecia areata and hidradenitis suppurativa among patients who were admitted for psychiatric care. The researchers also found that psoriasis patients who were receiving inpatient mental health treatment were more expensive to care for than those without psoriasis, grossing over $1.6 million annually. The majority of those fees were associated with treatment for depression and mood disorders.