Psoriasis varies considerably according to age, gender, race in minors
MedWire News: Study findings indicate that although prevalence of psoriasis among children and adolescents in California is low, it varies considerably according to age, gender, and race.
After 5 years of age, psoriasis incidence increased consistently, was higher in boys than in girls, and was highest in non-Hispanic White individuals compared with Black individuals and Asian/Pacific Islanders, report the researchers.
"The early onset of psoriasis observed in this pediatric population and its potential link to future disease risk and disease progression requires further investigation," remark Jashin Wu, from Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center in the USA, and colleagues.
The group examined the electronic medical records of 710,949 children aged 2-19 years between 2007 and 2008 to assess disparities in prevalence and treatment of psoriasis, and the validity of psoriasis diagnoses.
A total of 2287 patients had potential psoriasis, according to a search of psoriasis-associated words (including 'plaques' and 'flaky') in their medical records, of whom 2110 were confirmed with the condition. This equated to an overall prevalence of 19 psoriasis cases per 10,000 children studied.
Boys were 1.20 times more likely to develop the condition than girls, and non-Hispanic White children had the highest prevalence of psoriasis, at 25 and 33 cases per 10,000 among boys and girls, respectively. The lowest prevalence was among Black children, with a corresponding prevalence of 5 and 8 cases per 10,000 children.
The age at first diagnosis was marginally lower among boys than girls (11.8 vs 12.5 years) and incidence rates increased substantially after the age of 5 years. Specifically, 1.6% of children with confirmed psoriasis were younger than 2 years when given their first diagnosis, 7.7% were 2-5 years, 36.4% were 6-11 years, 25.9% were 12-14 years, and 28.4% were 15-19 years old.
Finally, the positive predictive value of a psoriasis diagnosis varied according to healthcare provider, and was higher when given/made by dermatologists, at 90.0%, compared with nondermatologists, at 26.6%.
The overall low prevalence of psoriasis in this population may "be explained by more widespread sunlight in Southern California," conclude Wu et al in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
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By Sarah Guy