In data presented earlier this month in San Diego at the 2017 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting, researchers noted that female patients with psoriatic arthritis had significantly higher rates of ADHD, depression and other psychiatric disorders than their male counterparts in the study.
The article, posted on Rheumatology Advisor, described the study, which followed 253 psoriatic arthritis patients. The adult study participants were then evaluated for psychiatric disorders including depression. The patients were also evaluate for ADHD.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) affects about 200,000 Americans per year. It is an autoimmune disease that affects approximately 30% of psoriasis patients. Psoriasis attacks the skin, however, PsA attacks the joints as well. In PsA, the immune system attacks the joints causing inflammation, pain and eventually joint degradation and damage. No one is really certain why this happens, but it is a apparent through many studies that PsA and psoriasis (PsO) are both simply the product of genetics. If you’re parents and grandparents had these issues, it is highly likely that you will as well. To learn more about PsA, click here.
The study researchers wanted to observe the pervasiveness of psychiatric disorders in patients with PsA and note any differences between genders. The study showed that of patients with psoriatic arthritis, 27.8% of them had diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder.
Overall PsA-diagnosed patients had the following disorders diagnosed:
• 18.7% had depression
• 14.7% had anxiety
• 4.8% had ADHD
“Further understanding of these gender-driven differences is needed to evaluate the impact on PsA disease burden, adherence, and management,” — study investigators
Female patients had a greater statistically significant chance of having a diagnosed psychiatric disorder compared to the males in the study. 34.5% of female patients in the study had a psychiatric disorder vs. 22.1% of males.
There was no real difference between genders in the severity of their PsA itself. Woman had significantly higher pervasiveness of both diagnosed depression and use of antidepressants, compared to their male counterparts in the study. On the other hand, men were more likely to be using medications for bipolar disorder than the female study participants.
There is already a high emotional cost to patients who suffer from psoriasis (PsO) or psoriatic arthritis (PsA). The skin lesions of PsO are a constant and visible reminder of the disease and the pain associated with PsA makes for difficult and painful physical activity for these patients. Having an understanding of how gender differences may play a role in mitigating the psychological effects of PsA and offer a better quality of life to these patients is an area of study that is important and should be expanded.