– Anyone who has treated patients with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) recognizes that this can be a debilitating disease. Helping put that into fuller perspective, recent evidence has shown that the quality of life effects of moderate to severe HS are objectively worse than those of moderate to severe psoriasis, according to Iltefat H. Hamzavi, MD, president of the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation and a dermatologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

He was lead author of a study in which he and his coinvestigators compared weighted averages of a variety of quality of life measures in patients with moderate to severe HS or psoriasis who participated in five AbbVie-sponsored randomized clinical trials of biologic agents (J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Dec;77[6]:1038-46).

Quality of life burden: Hidradenitis suppurativa versus psoriasis
The results were consistent: “In every measure, unfortunately, HS wins,” Dr. Hamzavi observed at the Hawaii Dermatology Seminar provided by the Skin Disease Education Foundation/Global Academy for Medical Education.

“The number of HS patients who experience downward drift – losing their job and their health insurance and ultimately being unable to move out of a lower socioeconomic group – is staggering,” the dermatologist said.

Hidradenitis suppurativa has been associated with increased rates of depression, anxiety, social isolation, and low self-esteem, which underscores the importance of a psychiatric evaluation as part of routine care for patients with this dermatologic disease. “Suicide is much more common in the HS population than in almost any other dermatologic disease,” Dr. Hamzavi added.

He reported serving as a consultant for AbbVie, Incyte, and UCB.

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