Depression and the risk of psoriasis in US women

P. L. Dominguez, J. Han, T. Li, A. Ascherio, A. A. Qureshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Background Depression is a common mental health condition that has been associated with psoriasis. In the absence of prospective data, it remains unclear whether depression precedes psoriasis as a risk factor. Objectives To examine the association between depression and the risk of new-onset psoriasis. Methods A prospective cohort of 86 880 US female nurses, The Nurses' Health Study II, was followed up from 1993 to 2005. Participants reported anti-depressant use and completed the Mental Health Index (MHI), a subscale of the Short-Form 36 in 1993. The MHI assessed for depression and scores was categorized into four strata: 0-52, 53-75, 76-85 and 86-100, with lower scores associated with increasing depressive symptoms. We excluded participants with a history of psoriasis prior to 1993. A self-report of incident physician-diagnosed psoriasis constituted the main outcome measure. For a sensitivity analysis, we had a subset of confirmed psoriasis cases. Results Depression was associated with an increased risk of incident psoriasis. Compared to women in the non-depressed group (MHI 86-100), women who reported either having high depressive symptomatology (MHI scores <52) or who were on anti-depressants had a multivariate relative risk (RR) of 1.59 for developing subsequent psoriasis (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21-2.08). These associations became stronger among confirmed psoriasis cases. Conclusions We found that depression was independently associated with an increased risk of psoriasis in this population of US women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1163-1167
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases

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