Patients with psoriasis were more likely to receive emergency food from churches, food banks, or soup kitchens.
According to a study1 published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, patients with psoriasis have increased health care costs and comorbidities that lead to an increased socioeconomic burden in the United States. The study authors explored the relationship between psoriasis and food insecurity using National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2003 to 2006 and 2009 to 2014.
The questionnaire included questions regarding a confirmed psoriasis diagnosis and food insecurity experiences. Statistical analyses were performed with SPSS 27. Survey participants that did not answer “yes” or “no” to the confirmed diagnosis of psoriasis were excluded from the data. According to the study authors, “A multinomial logistic regression was conducted with the diagnosis of psoriasis as the dependent variable, measures of food security in the last 12 months, such as meals cut or skipped by the respondent or child in the household, not eating for a day, consuming less than the participant should, hunger, and emergency food received, as the independent variables, and age as a covariate.”
Study results showed patients with psoriasis were significantly more likely to have received emergency food from a church, food pantry, food bank, or soup kitchen in the last 12 months (1.04 to 1.87; P=0.026), and a child in the household had skipped meals in the last 12 months (1.06 to 2.36; P=.024) compared to participants without psoriasis. Other measures of food security such as skipped or cut meals, lack of nutrition for a day, and hunger were not significant.
The study authors noted that because emergency food requires a participant to seek outside resources, “it better gauges the gravity of food insecurity.” Additionally, children that have skipped meals more accurately show food insecurity compared to adults, as it better demonstrates the seriousness of food insecurity. For example, adults may choose to skip meals for personal reasons such as work demands, dieting, or dietary restrictions.
After reviewing the data, the study authors concluded that food insecurity is positively associated with psoriasis. Additionally, patients with lower socioeconomic status have decreased access to dermatologic care. Physicians should be on the lookout for the association between food insecurity, an indicator of financial hardship, and psoriasis.