Background: Psoriasis is often associated with the risk of physical disability, social discomfort and psychological disorders. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of depressive symptomatology among Italian patients with psoriasis vulgaris, in order to better evaluate the disease severity in this patient population. Methods: Five thousand Italian patients with psoriasis were mailed the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) questionnaire, a 20-item instrument developed to perform epidemiological studies of depressive symptomatology in the general population. Questionnaires with responses to 16 or more items were considered evaluable. Results: We received evaluable questionnaires from 2,391 patients, including 1,528 men (63.9%) and 863 women (36.1%). Depressive symptomatology was observed in 1,482/2,391 patients (62% overall; females, 63%; males, 61%). Men < 40 years of age were significantly more likely to report depressive symptoms than were men >= 40 years of age (67 vs. 58%, respectively; p = 0.002). Depressive symptomatology was more prevalent in psoriatic patients with only primary or secondary education than in psoriatic patients with higher education (51 vs. 32%, respectively; p < 0.02). Conclusion: Our results are consistent with previous studies showing that psoriasis is associated with profound psychological morbidity, in particular with depression in a large number of patients. It is important to consider this association in the overall management of psoriasis.
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