The burden of psoriatic arthritis: a literature review from a global health systems perspective

P T. 2010 Dec;35(12):680-9.


Objective: We sought to evaluate the clinical, economic, and humanistic burden of illness in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

Study design: We performed a literature review.

Methods: Our literature search, conducted between 1998 and 2009, included published studies that (1) considered the direct and indirect costs of PsA; reported measures of clinical burden, including mortality, physical function, quality of life, and productivity; and (3) reported comorbid conditions in patients with PsA.

Results: We retrieved and reviewed a total of 49 studies. Compared with the general population, patients with PsA had lower health-related quality of life and an increased risk of co-morbid conditions, especially cardiovascular disease. In the U.S., the direct annual health care costs for PsA are estimated to be as high as $1.9 billion. Total indirect costs associated with PsA account for 52% to 72% of total costs. Both direct and indirect costs of PsA increase with worsening physical function and disease activity.

Conclusion: PsA imposes a considerable economic and quality-of-life burden to patients and society. Clinical features of PsA, including comorbid conditions and disease activity, contribute to reduced physical and psychosocial health-related quality of life. The clinical burden of PsA contributes to direct medical costs attributable to the utilization of health care resources. As a result of the physical functioning limitations imposed by PsA, indirect costs such as disability and lost productivity are substantial drivers of the total costs of care.

Keywords: burden; costs; psoriasis; psoriatic arthritis; quality of life.