May-Jun '08 | briefing | mail | interviews | articlespsorchat |  don't say this | flaker creativity | flakers' jargon | other places | archives | send mail | ed dewkesearch | acknowledgments | legal stuff | Flake: Confessions of a Psoriatic  | 2008 Ed Dewke

Shorter Lives of Psoriatics
from Dermot G.

I just read this article:

The research showed that Canadians with psoriasis usually die about ten years earlier than Canadians without psoriasis (68.8 years versus 77.4 years for males and 72.2 years versus 82.5 years for females).

An earlier age of psoriasis onset is also a negative prognostic factor. That is, individuals who develop the condition before they reach 25 years of age have a life expectancy that is decreased by 25 to 30 years." -

I had previously read that psoriasis takes about 3-4 years off of one's lifespan.  I've had severe psoriasis since I was 18.  I'm currently 32 and now wondering if I should be preparing a will and advance life directives. Do you know anything about this?

Thanks a lot for your response, -Dermot G.


Ed’s Response: Thanks for sharing the link, Dermot.  Reports on the same research report have popped up elsewhere.  I'm really no more informed about the co-morbidities research than you are — having both read reports about the same research — but it strikes me from two directions, personally and intellectually.

Personally: I was diagnosed with hypertension prior to becoming psoriatic (at least visibly).  Since becoming psoriatic (visibly), I have also been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and heart disease (been through a quadruple bypass and aortic valve replacement).

Intellectually: It comes as no surprise, since psoriasis has been re-classified as an immune system disease, that association with other diseases — immune deficiencies as well as others — would be more prevalent.  The immune system appears to affect most diseases in some fashion.  I see the logic of the research conclusion; paraphrased:  "Dr.'s should consider psoriasis a 'flag' for possible other health issues (see list....) and be on the look-out for indicators." 

So, having psoriasis may indicate a predisposition to other diseases that are more likely than the psoriasis to be fatal.  We can do our best to watch for and contain and treat those other conditions, but something's going to kill us all, eventually.  I don't interpret this research as any kind of prognosticator for anyone's particular situation.  By last count, without good medical care I’d have died three times already.  I’m thankful to be alive, even if I do still have psoriasis.

Having said all that, it's never a bad idea to have a will and a statement of life directives in advance.  -Ed

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