The prevalence of psoriasis in African Americans: results from a population-based study

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Jan;52(1):23-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2004.07.045.


Background: Psoriasis is a common disease with substantial effects on quality of life. The prevalence of psoriasis in African Americans has been previously reported as rare. However, there have been no population-based studies to assess the prevalence and burden of psoriasis in African Americans.

Objective: We sought to measure the prevalence and burden of psoriasis in African Americans compared with Caucasians.

Methods: Patients were randomly selected from the United States population and were asked standard demographic questions. Patients who reported a physician diagnosis of psoriasis were asked additional questions related to quality of life.

Results: The total sample included 27,220 individuals of which 21,921 were Caucasian and 2443 were African American. The prevalence of psoriasis was 2.5% in Caucasian patients and was 1.3% in African American patients. African Americans had an approximately 52% reduction in the prevalence of psoriasis compared with Caucasians ( P < .0001). African Americans and Caucasians had similar impacts on quality of life and treatment satisfaction based on single global questions.

Conclusion: Although psoriasis is less common in African Americans than in Caucasians, it is not rare in either demographic and carries a substantial burden in both groups.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cost of Illness
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Psoriasis / epidemiology
  • Psoriasis / ethnology*
  • Quality of Life
  • United States / epidemiology
  • White People / statistics & numerical data