Suicidal risks with psoriasis and atopic dermatitis: Systematic review and meta-analysis

J Psychosom Res. 2021 Feb:141:110347. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.110347. Epub 2020 Dec 26.


Objective: Evidence of increased suicidal risk in association with psoriasis is growing, but findings concerning atopic dermatitis are inconsistent.

Methods: We systematically reviewed reports of suicidal ideation, attempts, or suicides among subjects diagnosed with psoriasis or atopic dermatitis compared to healthy controls or persons with other illnesses. Reported rates of suicidal ideation and behavior were compared among the groups, using meta-analyses to compare suicidal rates with dermatologic patients versus controls, as well as between dermatological diagnoses.

Results: Mean rates of suicidal ideation with psoriasis were 1.60-fold (13.9%/8.67%) above controls, and with atopic dermatitis, 1.84-fold higher (16.8%/9.12%); meta-analyses found similar differences: psoriasis (OR = 1.97 [CI: 1.26-3.08]; p = 0.003) and atopic dermatitis (OR = 2.62 [1.32-5.19]; p = 0.006). For suicidal acts, with psoriasis, mean rates versus controls were 2.51-fold higher (3.34%/1.33%), and 2.81-fold higher (5.03%/1.79%) with atopic dermatitis; meta-analyses found significantly more suicidal acts with psoriasis (OR = 1.42 [1.05-1.92]; p = 0.02) and a similar tendency with atopic dermatitis (OR = 1.53 [0.96-2.45]; p = 0.08).

Conclusions: The study findings support emerging evidence of increased risk of suicidal ideation and behavior with psoriasis and extend it to increased risk of suicidal ideation and a trend toward increased suicidal acts with atopic dermatitis.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; Attempt; Depression; Ideation; Inflammation; Psoriasis; Suicide.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Dermatitis, Atopic / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psoriasis / psychology*
  • Suicide / psychology*