World Psoriasis Happiness Report Reveals the Cost of Psoriasis


The PsoHappy platform has launched the second annual World Psoriasis Happiness Report addressing how psoriasis causes happiness inequality while placing a financial burden upon societies worldwide.

An estimated $80.7 billion has been lost across 13 countries in 2018 due to the impact of psoriasis, the report reveals. Announced by the Happiness Research Institute, in partnership with the LEO Innovation Lab and powered by the PsoHappy platform, the World Psoriasis Happiness Report 2018 provides an analysis of findings from online surveys completed by more than 79,000 people across 21 countries who live with self-reported psoriasis – a serious, autoimmune chronic disease.

Psoriasis drives a significant loss in productivity, in turn creating a financial cost to the nations included in the study

The study found that people living with self-reported psoriasis are subject to lost productivity at work which is directly linked to monetary cost for the nation within which they reside (calculated using the human capital approach).

  • In the US, the cost of self-reported psoriasis is estimated at $30bn (per year). This amounts to $19m per
    100,000 people employed or 0.16% of GDP.
  • In the UK, the cost is $2bn, which is $8m per 100,000 people employed or 0.09% of GDP.
Poor mental health is the strongest predictor of lost productivity

According to the study’s data collected across all participating countries, respondents who claimed to be highly impacted by depression or anxiety reported to have missed approximately four times more work hours than those who claimed to be not at all impacted by these conditions.
The report also highlights that poor mental and social well-being are stronger predictors of unhappiness than the four key risk factors most commonly prioritised in the understanding of NCDs (tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and the harmful use of alcohol). Poor mental health is diffused throughout various lifestyle factors for people living with self-reported psoriasis, accenting that the condition is experienced mentally and socially first and foremost.

  • 60% of people living with psoriasis experience high stress levels.
  • 30% are lonely.
  • 1 in 4 report a mental disorder like depression.
  • People with psoriasis in the US are 10 times more likely to live in misery than Americans in general.

“At IFPA, we have always advocated for global acknowledgment of the fact that psoriasis is more than a physical condition, that it has a significant impact on quality of life, and that the consequences of this impact stretch far beyond the recognition of many healthcare policies,” said Hoseah Waweru, President of the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA).
“We now have data to concretely support this. The study shows the pressing need for engagement from both policy
makers and global health leaders in setting new guidelines for both employers and for healthcare governance.”

Chronic care must recognise happiness

Countries, where a higher percentage of respondents felt that their doctor prioritised the impact of psoriasis on their mental health, tended to perform better in regards to happiness measures. The study notes a distinction between ‘patient satisfaction’ and ‘patient happiness’. When each factor was measured amongst respondents, it was found that the two were not at all correlated.
“It was surprising to see depression and anxiety as a direct result of psoriasis so closely linked to lost productivity. From these data, we can begin to draw connections to the monetary cost of psoriasis and the need for an increased prioritisation of its impact on happiness,” said Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute.
“If we can promote the need for well-being centred conversations we can not only make a difference to the lives of individuals, but to nations at a macro level. These conversations are currently very scarce, even in the best performing countries, so it’s clear that change is needed.”

The World Psoriasis Happiness Report 2018 is available for download here.