Self-reported skin morbidity among adults: associations with quality of life and general health in a Norwegian survey

J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2004 Mar;9(2):120-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1087-0024.2003.09111.x.


Life-quality studies among dermatologic patients have shown that chronic skin diseases have an impact on patients' lives. The purpose of this study was to assess the burden of skin morbidity at a community level. This was presented as prevalence of self-reported skin morbidity and dermatologic life-quality items. The association of skin disease and general health measures like feeling depressed and self-reported general health were measured. The method used was a questionnaire on self-reported skin complaints, including variables such as demographic, psychosocial, general health, dermatologic life-quality items. The design of the study was cross-sectional, with answers from 18,770 adult responders. The results confirmed that skin morbidity is common; itch was the dominating symptom. Younger adults reported more social problems as a result of skin problems than older. The life-quality domain most affected by skin disease was the social one. In a regression model skin disease was as well as rheumatism more strongly associated with feeling depressed than asthma, diabetes, and angina pectoris. Skin disease was also strongly associated with reporting poor general health, although less than other nondermatologic chronic diseases. In conclusion, in this study skin morbidity was strongly associated with general health measures among adults in a population-based setting. To the best of our knowledge these associations have not been described previously at a community level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / etiology
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Skin Diseases / epidemiology
  • Skin Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Skin Diseases / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires