SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

This study explored the epidemiology, treatment, and comorbidities of juvenile psoriasis in Germany using health insurance data. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects approximately 2% to 3% of the world's population. Data were obtained from a database of approximately 6.7 million individuals registered with health insurance organizations throughout Germany. The analysis considered all individuals age 18 years and younger with psoriasis who were registered in 2007. Comorbidities were identified using software based on a morbidity-based risk adjustment model. A total of 138,338 patients with a diagnosis of psoriasis were identified in the database, yielding a prevalence of 2.1%. Within this group there were 4,499 children and adolescents (≤18 years of age), a prevalence of 0.4%. The prevalence ranged from 0.1% at the age of 1 year to 0.8% at the age of 18 years. Most of the patients were treated with topical corticosteroids (72.2%) and antipsoriatics (e.g., tars, psoralen; 20.0%). Immunosuppressants were used in 3.3% of the cases. Juvenile psoriasis was associated with numerous significant comorbidities such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation (2.1%); delirium, psychosis, and psychotic and dissociative disorder (1.1%); and heart disease (0.6%). Our study demonstrated that psoriasis is more prevalent in children and adolescents than some older international investigations have documented. Analysis of the health insurance data showed that juvenile psoriasis is associated with a range of comorbidities. The data also may suggest an unrecognized burden of mental health problems in young persons with psoriasis.