Global Report: (Un)Happiness For Canadians With Psoriaisis Is Prevalent and Driven By Loneliness and Stress

Monday, October 16, 2017 General News
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Canada Ranks 5th of Happiest Countries for People with Psoriasis, but results show they aren't "pso happy"


Oct. 16, 2017 /CNW/ - The first-ever World Psoriasis Happiness Reporti was released today by the Happiness Research Institute, in partnership with LEO Innovation Lab, an independent unit of LEO Pharma. The report
provides an analysis of findings from online surveys completed by more than 150,000 people in more than 100 countries who live with psoriasis. Conducted in Canada with the support of The Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients (CAPP), the survey includes more than 2,250 respondents from Canada. (Canada ranks 5th out of 20 countries, behind Mexico, Columbia, Spain and Brazil.)

Psoriasis affects about one million people in Canada.ii It is an inflammatory condition characterized by lesions, which are areas of inflamed skin where the cells grow too fast. This creates red, scaly, thick patches of skin (called "plaques"). Psoriasis comes in different forms. The most common form is psoriasis vulgaris, also referred to as plaque psoriasis. Those living with psoriasis experience elevated levels of stress and feelings of isolation, and in some cases, psoriasis can lead to depression.iii

"It's good to see that Canada ranks fifth on the world psoriasis happiness scale, but it doesn't mean people with psoriasis living in Canada are happy – in fact, quite the contrary. The results show that psoriasis has a huge impact on people's emotional and mental health and well-being," says Miron Derchansky, Head of Innovation at LEO Innovation Lab in Canada. "This research is important because it can drive conversations about the impact of psoriasis that go far beyond skin deep, and help health care practitioners and patients address these issues as part of treatment plans."

Psoriasis Happiness in Canadaiv:Psoriasis impacts Canadians' happiness. Based on the 2017 UN Happiness Report,v the average Canadian rates their happiness at a 7.3/10. However, this indicates a "happiness gap," as respondents to the 2017 World Psoriasis Happiness Report rate themselves at only a 6.1/10 – a full 17% less than a Canadian who does not suffer from psoriasis.

In Canada, psoriasis has the highest impact on the emotional aspects of life, with emotional life, physical functioning and sexual intimacy ranking as the top three impacts. These results mirror the global results overall, where we see the same order.

"In my practice, I see that uncontrolled psoriasis can have a negative impact on happiness and quality of life. These results underscore the importance of initiating psoriasis treatment which can lead to a happier, healthier life," says Dr. Sonya Abdulla, Dermatologist at Dermatology on Bloor in Toronto. "The majority of patients are mild to moderate and virtually every patient can benefit from some form of therapy. Awareness about and access to treatment is a critical part of improving quality of life in people living with psoriasis."

More from the Canadian Patients' Findingsvi:

  • A lonely road: Psoriasis patients in Canada show significantly higher levels of loneliness than the global psoriasis patients' averages, when asked about feeling a lack of companionship (39% vs. 27%), feeling left out (32% vs. 23%), and feeling isolated (33% vs. 24%).
  • He said / she said: In Canadian women, we see stress levels that are higher than in their male counterparts (63% vs. 44%). Canadian men say they feel they lack companionship more so than their female counterparts (44% men vs. 37% women), and Canadian women say they often feel left out more so than men (34% women vs. 26% of men).
  • Self-esteem and confidence: Canadian women show significantly lower scores than the global averages when assessing self-confidence. Sixty-three per cent of Canadian women say they "certainly feel useless at times," in comparison to the global average (50%). Also, only 27% of Canadian women declare they feel confident "often" and "all the time," compared to 39% of the global average.
  • Support from Health Care Professionals: In Canada, the good news is people with psoriasis fare better when it comes to accessing their health care professional (HCP) when in need, compared to the global average (77% compared with 69%).
  • Confidence and trust in HCPs: Only 44% of Canadian patients think their HCP fully understands the impact psoriasis has on their mental well-being.

"If you are living with psoriasis, it's important that you find the right health care professional and develop a plan to actively manage your psoriasis, that includes discussion about disease impact on your mental health," says Kathryn Andrews-Clay, Executive Director, Canadian Skin Patient Alliance (CSPA) and the Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients (CAPP). "Our hope is that this report will inspire people living with psoriasis to become aware of the barriers to their own happiness, so they can take better control of their condition, and talk to their health care practitioners about treatments and tools that can help them achieve their goals."

About Psoriasis The most common sites of psoriasis lesions include the elbows, knees, scalp, chest and lower back.vii In moderate to severe cases, the disease can impact a person's mental health and well-being and their ability to function in society.viii,ix The cause of psoriasis is presently unknown, but experts believe that the condition may involve malfunctioning of the immune system, resulting in inflammation. More specifically, the immune system's white blood cells are triggered, leading to inflammation that causes skin cells to rise to the surface and shed at a rate much faster than normal.x

While the disease can develop at any age, it is typically seen in adults and occurs equally among men and women and in all ethnic groups. A leading risk factor of the condition is genetics.xi Psoriasis "waxes and wanes," meaning that symptoms can worsen (flare up) then subside or even go away for a while.xii There are multiple triggers that can cause flare-ups including infection, skin injury, certain medications, stress, hormones, the weather, smoking and heavy alcohol use. Effective treatment has been shown to make symptoms disappear for weeks or months at a time.xiii

Pso What?If you are living with psoriasis, recognize that you are in it for the long-term, and that there are things you can do to manage your condition. Talk to your dermatologist or GP, be more informed, and take control of your disease which in turn can impact your happiness.

For more information on the World Psoriasis Happiness Report visit:

About the Happiness Research Institute and LEO Innovation LabThe Happiness Research Institute is an independent think tank, based in Copenhagen, which focuses on life satisfaction, happiness and quality of life. Its mission is to inform decision-makers of the causes and effects of human happiness, make subjective well-being part of the public policy debate and improve quality of life for citizens across the world.

LEO Innovation Lab is an independent business unit of LEO Pharma, established as part of a long-term strategic decision to focus on patient needs. The LEO Innovation Lab does not develop medical treatments, but instead focuses on the everyday life that can affect people living with chronic skin conditions. The unit functions separately from LEO Pharma and has offices in Copenhagen, London, Paris, San Francisco and Toronto.

About LEO PharmaLEO Pharma helps people achieve healthy skin. By offering treatments to patients in more than 100 countries globally, LEO Pharma supports people in managing their skin conditions. Founded in 1908 and owned by the LEO Foundation, the health care company has devoted decades of research and development to delivering products and tools to people with skin conditions. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark and employs around 5,000 people worldwide.

About The Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients (CAPP)The Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients was formed to better serve the needs of psoriasis patients across the country. It is run by a dedicated staff and a committed Board of Directors, who are either psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis patients themselves, family members of psoriasis patients, or individuals committed to furthering CAPP's mission. The Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients is a proud member of the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA). Visit


i World Happiness Psoriasis Report, 2017. ii Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients. "Living With Psoriasis" Retrieved from: (Accessed September 28, 2017)iii (Accessed September 28, 2017)iv World Psoriasis Happiness Report 2017. UN Happiness Report 2017. (Accessed September 28, 2017)vi Ibid.vii Canadian Dermatology Association. (Accessed September 28, 2017)viii International Federation of Psoriasis Associations. (Accessed September 28, 2017)ix Journal of the American Medical Association, December 17 2003; Vol 290, No. 23.x Canadian Dermatology Association. "Psoriasis" Retrieved from: (Accessed September 28, 2017)xi Canadian Dermatology Association. (Accessed October 6, 2017)xii (Accessed October 6, 2017)xiii Canadian Dermatology Association. (Accessed October 6, 2017)



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