Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is associated with low socioeconomic status (SES): A cross-sectional reference study

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Abstract

Background:

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic debilitating disease, whereby school attendance and employment can be disturbed.

Objective:

We sought to determine the socioeconomic status (SES) in patients with HS relative to other dermatologic patients, and whether specific clinical HS characteristics correlate with SES.

Methods:

For this multicenter cross-sectional reference study, data were collected from patients with HS and sex- and age-matched dermatologic patients in a 1:2 ratio. SES was derived from the mean household income and real estate value on a neighborhood level.

Results:

The SES distribution among 1018 patients with HS was significantly lower than among 2039 age- and sex-matched dermatologic control patients (P < .001). In patients with HS a low SES was associated with axillary involvement (odds ratio 1.42, P = .04), high body mass index (odds ratio 1.03, P = .003), and lower age at inclusion (odds ratio 0.98, P = .001), but not with disease severity or age of disease onset.

Limitations:

SES was based on postal code level and causality cannot be determined.

Conclusion:

In the general population, low SES is associated with an unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking and obesity. Therefore, low SES might be a risk factor for developing HS.

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