Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis get federal attention through the first-ever public health agenda for psoriatic diseases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led an effort to develop the first-ever public health agenda for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, which will guide future public health efforts and research into these diseases.
"Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have many genetic and environmental causes that vary among individuals," said Andrew D. Robertson, chief scientific officer for the National Psoriasis Foundation. "A public health approach to psoriatic diseases will allow scientists to better identify possible environmental and lifestyle contributions, which could potentially help us stop these diseases before they start."
The coalition of federal officials and clinical, biomedical and public health experts developed a list of priorities to address future research into psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The priorities are:
- Improving the way psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed.
- Examining the relationship between other chronic diseases or comorbidities, like heart disease, with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
- Looking at how people with psoriatic diseases access health care, the cost of their treatments, and how the diseases affect their ability to work.
- Studying the impact of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis on quality of life and other outcomes.
Public health data will help scientists understand the underlying questions about psoriatic diseases and how they affect a large population of people, in the hopes of identifying new research possibilities, finding better treatments and moving us closer toward a cure.
The agenda clearly states the need for research into basic questions, such as the age at which psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis appear, how the diseases start and develop over time, and possible differences in how they affect certain groups, such as younger versus older people.
"To successfully answer these questions, and address other research needs, the engagement of the larger dermatology and public health communities is needed," Robertson said. "The Psoriasis Foundation looks forward to creating opportunities to move this public health agenda forward."
The public health agenda resulted from a multi-year advocacy campaign by National Psoriasis Foundation advocates and leaders to educate federal lawmakers about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Congress approved $1.5 million to the CDC in 2009 to begin the first federal effort to collect data on people with psoriatic diseases.
February 12, 2013