Predictors of Diagnostic Delay in Psoriasis Identified

Male patients have longer diagnostic delay than female patients; longer diagnostic delay seen for those with psoriasis in specific areas

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TUESDAY, June 21, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Diagnostic delay is common for patients with psoriasis and is increased for men and with psoriasis in specific areas, according to a study recently published online in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Mia-Louise Nielsen, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues surveyed 2,142 dermatologist-verified patients with psoriasis during 2020 to examine diagnostic delay and identify predictors of diagnostic delay.

The researchers found that 43.5 percent of patients had a diagnostic delay of less than a year, and 22.1, 17, 7, 6, and 4.3 percent waited one to two, two to five, five to 10, 10 to 20, and >20 years, respectively, to see a dermatologist. For female and male patients with dermatologist-verified psoriasis, the mean diagnostic delay was 2.7 and 3.9 years, respectively. Patients who reported never having had an affected body surface area of ≥3 percent had a longer diagnostic delay than those with more extensive psoriasis. A significantly longer diagnostic delay was seen for patients with psoriasis in specific areas (head, face, hands, feet, and genitals) compared with those without psoriasis in specific areas. Individuals with a longer diagnostic delay had a higher current Dermatology Life Quality Index.

"Early diagnosis is necessary for reducing the risk of irreversible structural damage, attenuating the deterioration of physical function and improving patients' quality of life," the authors write. "Early detection and appropriate treatment may also help reduce development of psoriasis-associated psychological conditions, including stress, anxiety and depression."

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