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03-03-2011 | Psoriasis | Article

Comorbidities significantly increase economic burden of psoriasis


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MedWire News: Patients with psoriasis and comorbidities incur significantly more health costs, mostly as a result of greater utilization of medical services, compared with psoriasis patients without comorbidities, research results show.

Comorbid cardiovascular disease was associated with the greatest increase in healthcare resource use, say the researchers, as well as the greatest incremental cost compared with other comorbidities.

This finding is "not surprising given the serious nature and mortality of [cardiovascular] disease," write Alexandra Kimball and colleagues in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

They add that the economic significance of comorbidities in psoriasis patients has not been extensively researched, unlike their clinical burden. Thus, the team assessed the incremental economic impact associated with comorbidities in 114,512 patients with psoriasis, 51% of whom had at least one comorbidity.

Hyperlipidemia and hypertension were the most common comorbidities, experienced by a respective 27.3% and 25.4% of patients with any comorbidity. These were followed by depression, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, at 9.2%, 8.7%, and 8.6%, respectively.

The largest cost difference observed between the two cohorts was inpatient service use, with 2.27 times the rate of hospitalizations among those with any comorbidity versus those with none.

Cardiovascular disease represented the greatest increase in specific healthcare resource utilization. Patients with this comorbidity had 4.19 times as many hospitalizations, 2.28 times as many emergency department visits, and 1.89 times as many other visits as patients without comorbidities.

In terms of cost, the mean estimated 6-month cost of healthcare was US $4992 (€3610) per patient with a comorbidity or comorbidities, versus $1980 (€1432) per patient without. Conditions with the greatest incremental cost were cerebrovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, and cardiovascular disease, ranging from $5381 (€3890) through $6191 (€4475).

The overall incremental cost associated with having a comorbidity during the 6-month study duration was $2184 (€1579), report Kimball et al.

"The results of this study highlight the economic impact of comorbidities common in patients with psoriasis," conclude the researchers. They add that "comorbidities deserve serious consideration, both clinically and economically, in the overall treatment and management plans for patients with psoriasis."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Sarah Guy

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