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CDC Puts Psoriasis on Its Public Health Agenda

Posted: February 13, 2013

It's official. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is leading collaborative efforts among clinical, biomedical and public health experts to develop the first-ever public health agenda for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, giving federal recognition to millions of Americans living with these diseases.

A short article on the agenda was released online today in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, which highlights the gaps in psoriatic disease research to guide future public health efforts into these diseases.

“Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have many genetic and environmental causes that vary among individuals,” said Andrew D. Robertson, chief scientific and medical officer for the National Psoriasis Foundation. “A public health approach to psoriatic diseases will allow scientists to better identify possible environmental contributions, which could potentially help us stop these diseases before they start.”

In 2009, after a multi-year advocacy campaign by National Psoriasis Foundation advocates and leaders, Congress allocated $1.5 million to the CDC to commence the first-ever government data collection effort on psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Through extensive collaboration, the coalition created a list of priorities, needs and unanswered questions in psoriatic disease research.

The public health agenda focuses on four priorities:

  • Determining if current ways of diagnosing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can be applied to wider population-based research
  • Examining the prevalence, disparities and comorbidities, such as heart disease, of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
  • Looking at health-care use, costs and work burden associated with psoriatic diseases
  • Studying the impact of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis disease severity on quality of life and other outcomes.