Content » Vol 99, Issue 4

Clinical Report

Psoriasis Incidence and Lifetime Prevalence: Suggestion for a Higher Mortality Rate in Older Age-classes among Psoriatic Patients Compared to the General Population in Italy

Elena Pezzolo, Simone Cazzaniga, Paolo Colombo, Liliane Chatenoud, Luigi Naldi
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3130


Data on the psoriasis incidence and prevalence in the Italian population are limited, and a timely and accurate understanding of the disease epidemiology is needed. This ad hoc study investigated psoriasis incidence and lifetime prevalence in a representative sample (n = 14,705) of the Italian population. Information on lifetime history of skin disorders with details about their onset, duration, and treatment was collected. Psoriasis incidence showed a bimodal distribution pattern, with peaks in age classes characteristic of early-onset (35–44 years) and late-onset (65–74 years) psoriasis. Late-onset psoriasis showed some variations according to the sex, with females being diagnosed earlier than males. Lifetime prevalence of psoriasis was 2.7% (95% confidence interval: 2.5–3.0): it increased to 3.5% at age 60–64 years, then decreased steadily after age 64, to 1.7% at age > 74 years. This decrease, despite a peak in incidence rates, after age 64, may suggest a higher mortality rate among psoriasis patients in older age classes, compared to the general population.


Little is known about psoriasis incidence and prevalence in Italy. Such information is important in order to define the disease burden. Therefore, an accurate and timely understanding of the disease epidemiology is needed. We investigated incidence rates and lifetime prevalence of psoriasis in a representative sample of adult Italian population, assessing the disease history through a face-to-face interview. We documented a bimodal distribution pattern in the incidence. We also observed a decrease in the lifetime prevalence after age 64. This suggests a higher mortality rate in older psoriasis patients compared to the general population.

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