Excess mortality related to alcohol and smoking among hospital-treated patients with psoriasis

Arch Dermatol. 1999 Dec;135(12):1490-3. doi: 10.1001/archderm.135.12.1490.


Background: Psoriasis is seen as a disease that does not kill. However, it is associated with alcohol intake and smoking. Thus, there could be excess mortality due to causes related to alcohol intake and smoking among patients with psoriasis.

Design: A cohort was identified from the nationwide Hospital Discharge Register from January 1, 1973, through December 31, 1984, and mortality was followed up for 22 years by linkage with the Cause-of-Death Register, from January 1, 1973, through December 31, 1995.

Patients: A cohort of 3132 men and 2555 women admitted to inpatient treatment with psoriasis as the principal diagnosis.

Main outcome measures: Date and underlying cause of death.

Results: We observed 1918 deaths in contrast to the 1211 deaths expected on the basis of the national mortality rates. The all-cause standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for men was 1.62 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.52-1.71); for women, 1.54 (95% CI, 1.43-1.64). Among men, the highest SMRs were found for alcohol psychosis (8.91 [95% CI, 2.89-20.70]) and liver disease, ie, cirrhosis, fatty liver, and hepatitis (6.98 [95% CI, 5.34-8.96]). Among women, the highest SMR was found for liver disease (5.06 [95% CI, 2.70-8.65]). Excess mortality was high for all causes of death directly related to alcohol; the SMR for men was 4.46 (95% CI, 3.60-5.45); for women, 5.60 (95% CI, 2.98-8.65).

Conclusions: Patients with moderate to severe psoriasis are at increased risk for death. Alcohol is a major cause for this excess mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / mortality
  • Cause of Death*
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / mortality
  • Male
  • Psoriasis / mortality*
  • Psychoses, Alcoholic / mortality
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / mortality