Aim The Nordic Quality of Life Study was undertaken to assess the relationship between psoriasis and the quality of life in Nordic countries. The intention was also to determine whether there was a relationship between drinking, smoking, and the use of psychotherapeutic agents on the one hand, and psoriasis severity and quality of life on the other.
Materials and methods A questionnaire was mailed to 11,300 members of the Nordic Psoriasis Associations. Additional psoriasis patients were recruited by dermatologists (387) or admitted to dermatologic wards (385). These patients also underwent a physical examination, and their Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) was determined. The questionnaire included the Psoriasis Disability Index (PDI), Psoriasis Life Stress Inventory (PLSI), and additional questions on disease severity, treatment, and psoriasis arthritis. It also included questions regarding lifestyle issues, such as smoking, alcohol use, and the use of tranquilizers, antidepressants, and sleeping medications.
Results The response rate for members was 50.2%. Included in the evaluation were 6497 patients. Men drank significantly more beer and liquor than women. The number of beers per day had a weak correlation with the PDI. Wine consumption, however, showed a weak, but significant, negative correlation with both PDI and PLSI. Patients admitted to dermatologic wards smoked more cigarettes and drank less wine than the other two groups. Significant differences were found between countries with regard to total alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. The number of cigarettes and the use of tranquilizers, sleeping medications, and antidepressants showed small, but significant, positive correlations with psoriasis quality of life measures.
Conclusions Cigarette smoking and the use of tranquilizers, sleeping medications, and antidepressants are statistically correlated with impaired psoriasis-related quality of life.