Psychiatric disorders more common in children with psoriasis

April 1, 2010

Children with psoriasis may be more prone to experiencing psychiatric disorders such as anxiety or depression, compared with young people who do not have the skin issue, new research indicates.

Children with psoriasis may be more prone to experiencing psychiatric disorders such as anxiety or depression compared with young people who do not have the skin issue, according to the results of a retrospective case-control study presented at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The investigators reviewed health plan information from 2000 to 2006 for patients aged less than 18 years (53.7% female; mean age, 11.4 years). A total of 7,404 patients had psoriasis, and 37,020 were matched healthy controls. Disorders analyzed include alcohol or drug abuse, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, suicidal ideation, and eating disorder. Medication use related to these disorders was also measured.

Psychiatric disorders were significantly more common in patients with psoriasis compared with control patients (5.13% vs 4.07%; P=.0001). For patients with psoriasis, the most common psychiatric disorders were depression (3.01% vs 2.42% in control patients) and anxiety (1.81% vs 1.35% in control patients).

The study found that children with psoriasis had a 25% greater risk of having any psychiatric disorder, including a 23% greater risk of depression and a 32% greater risk of anxiety. These children were also 47% more likely to use a medication for a psychiatric disorder.