Open Access Research article

Collecting a set of psoriasis family material through a patient organisation; clinical characterisation and presence of additional disorders

Annica Inerot1*, Charlotta Enerbäck1, Fredrik Enlund2, Tommy Martinsson2, Lena Samuelsson2, Jan Wahlström2 and Gunnar Swanbeck1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Dermatology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Sahlgrenska, SE-413 45 Göteborg, Sweden

2 Department of Clinical Genetics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Ostra, SE-416 85 Göteborg, Sweden

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BMC Dermatology 2005, 5:10  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-5-10

Published: 14 October 2005

Abstract

Background

The aim of the present study was to describe the clinical characteristics of a population of psoriatics sampled from a patient organisation and not from hospitals or out-patient clinics. Furthermore, we wanted to compare siblings with and without psoriasis regarding the occurrence of other diseases.

Methods

At the end of 1991, we initiated a project which aimed to study genetic factors leading to psoriasis. Firstly, we sent questionnaires to all the members of the Swedish Psoriasis Association. We then examined 1,217 individuals (570 with psoriasis) from 310 families, in their homes in the southern part of Sweden. All the available family members were examined clinically and asked about the course of the skin disease and the occurrence of other diseases. The eight hundred members of the proband generation were divided into two groups, with or without psoriasis, and their clinical features were compared.

Results

Most individuals in this study population had a mild form of psoriasis. The siblings with psoriasis had joint complaints significantly more frequently than their siblings without the skin disease and those with joint complaints had more widespread skin disease. Among the other studied concomitant diseases (iritis, heart or hypertension disease, endocrine disease, inflammatory bowel disease and neurological disease), we were not able to find any difference. Seventy-seven of 570 persons were found to be in remission (13.5%). Females had a mean onset 2.5 years earlier than males. We were not able to find any correlation between the extent of the skin disease and age at onset. Twice as many persons with joint complaints were found among those with psoriasis than among those without, 28% versus 13%. Almost half (48%) the psoriatics who also had joint complaints had psoriasis lesions on their nails. Endocrine disorders were found in 9% of those without any allele for Cw6, but only in 1% of those who had Cw6. In fact, none of 183 Cw6 carriers had diabetes, as compared to the population prevalence of 3–5% in Sweden.

Conclusion

With the exception of joint complaints, persons with psoriasis, collected from a patient organisation, did not have an increased frequency of (studied) co-existing diseases.