Results of a population-based survey indicate that nearly 4% adults in the US may suffer with psoriasis.

Previous studies have reported that between 0.5% and 3.15% U.S. adults have psoriasis. Charles G. Helmick, MD, and colleagues examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys to determine psoriasis prevalence, severity, disparities, health-related quality of life, and selected comorbidities

Using a subset of 10,676 adults aged 20 to 59 years from the 2003–2006 and 2009–2010 surveys, Helmick and colleagues estimated the prevalence of psoriasis among adults aged 20 to 59 years to be 3.1% (95% CI: 2.6, 3.6%), or 5.0 million adults (95% CI: 4.2, 5.8 million), according to the study results published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Applying the age 50–59 year estimate (3.5%) from the current study to those aged 60 years and older in the 2012 Census population suggests that an additional 1.7 million, or 6.7 million total adults, are affected. This translates to estimated $11.25 billion annually in costs associated with psoriasis, the researchers wrote.

Psoriasis prevalence was significantly higher among non-Hispanic whites and those with arthritis. In contrast, psoriasis prevalence was significantly lower among nonsmokers.

Psoriasis prevalence was also higher, but not significantly, among patients who were obese and also drank alcohol. Prevalence was highest in patients with the highest BMI, especially those who were overweight (3.1%) and obese (3.7%). Psoriasis prevalence was lowest in healthy patients who were underweight (2.4%).

“This work is part of a broader public health agenda to address psoriasis from a population-based perspective. The findings from this study suggest the need for additional public health activities to monitor and address the adverse HRQOL effects, comorbid conditions, and smoking behaviors of individuals with psoriasis,” the researchers concluded.


  1. Helmick CG. Am J Prev Med. 2014; doi: