The prevalence of anxiety in patients with psoriasis: a systematic review of observational studies and clinical trials

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Psoriasis and anxiety are chronic conditions with significant morbidity and there is evidence that they may exacerbate one another. There is little data on the prevalence of anxiety in psoriasis and the effect of psoriasis treatment on comorbid anxiety. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review of the literature to describe the prevalence and severity of clinical anxiety disorders or anxiety symptoms among adult patients with psoriasis and characterize the effect of anti-psoriatic interventions on clinical anxiety disorders or anxiety symptoms. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Database using search terms ‘psoriasis’ and ‘anxiety’. Results were tabulated and verified by two independent reviewers. Meta-analyses were not performed due to heterogeneity of data. Of 213 publications identified, 938 194 patients from 15 papers were included. The mean age ranged from 31.9–59.4 years old, with a mean PASI score of 7.65–22.8 (reported by nine studies) and a body surface area involvement of 25.9–39.8% (reported by two studies). The prevalence of anxiety in patients with psoriasis was 7–48%, which was significantly higher than healthy controls in two of three studies (HR 1.29–1.31, P = 0.001 and OR 2.91 [95% CI, 2.01–4.21], P < 0.001). Four of five studies (n = 2029) demonstrated an improvement in anxiety symptoms with psoriasis treatment. This review demonstrates a high prevalence of anxiety of adult patients with psoriasis suggesting that patients would benefit from systematic screening. Although the data suggest that anxiety may be improved through various psoriasis treatments, larger prospective randomized trials are needed to confirm this effect.

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