Disease burden, symptoms, and use of analgesics in patients with psoriasis with or without psoriatic arthritis: A cross-sectional study

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2022 Mar;86(3):590-597. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2021.07.028. Epub 2021 Jul 24.


Background: Patients with psoriasis have an impaired quality of life and higher use of analgesics than the general population. Whether such use is due to skin pain or a consequence of joint pain resulting from psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is not clear.

Objectives: To assess symptoms, disease burden, and use of analgesics in patients with psoriasis with and without PsA.

Method: Symptoms, general health (EurQol 5-dimension and 5-levels), and use of analgesics were assessed in patients with psoriasis and the general population from the Danish Skin Cohort.

Results: We included 4016 patients with psoriasis (847 with concomitant PsA) and 3490 reference individuals. For patients with psoriasis having PsA, itch, skin pain, and/or joint pain was associated with worse general health. Use of opioids within 12 months was observed among 9.0% of the general population, 14.2% of patients with psoriasis without PsA, and 22.7% of patients with concomitant PsA. Of the symptoms, only joint pain was associated with use of analgesics (odds ratio, 3.72 (2.69-5.14); P < .0001).

Limitations: Cross-sectional design.

Conclusion: Patients with psoriasis (especially concomitant PsA) have a higher use of analgesics compared with the general population, which appears to be a result of increased joint pain.

Keywords: analgesics; itch; opioids; pain; patient-reported outcomes; psoriasis; psoriatic arthritis; quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Arthralgia / diagnosis
  • Arthralgia / drug therapy
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic* / complications
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic* / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic* / drug therapy
  • Cost of Illness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / etiology
  • Psoriasis* / complications
  • Psoriasis* / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis* / epidemiology
  • Quality of Life


  • Analgesics