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Many with Psoriasis Undertreated, Survey Finds

Severe disease often goes untreated

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to major guidelines and consensus statements on recommended treatments for psoriasis, a sizable percentage of people with the condition report they're receiving no treatment, according to survey results published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Elizabeth J. Horn, Ph.D., of the National Psoriasis Foundation in Portland, Ore., and colleagues analyzed survey results from 1,657 adults in a foundation database, of whom 28 percent had self-reported severe psoriasis and 41 percent had moderate psoriasis, as defined by body surface area involvement.

Similar numbers of subjects reported receiving no treatment, despite the severity of the disease: mild (43 percent), moderate (37 percent) and severe (39 percent). Of the 1,003 subjects receiving treatment, 68 percent were using topical therapy, 14 percent were on traditional systemic therapy (such as cyclosporine or methotrexate), 12 percent were using biologic therapy (such as Enbrel) and 6 percent were using phototherapy.

"Despite increased focus on the burden of psoriasis and the development of new treatments for psoriasis in the past few years, there remains a large proportion of respondents not on current treatment. Similarly, respondents with moderate and severe psoriasis were not being treated with phototherapy, traditional systemic therapy, or biologic therapy as recommended by guidelines and consensus statements. The use of these therapies, in particular biologic therapy, has not increased in the past three years," the authors write.

A number of the study's co-authors have financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, and the foundation receives funding from a variety of companies.

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