The skin is the body's largest organ. A new article published online by JAMA Dermatology estimates the global burden of skin disease as measured by disability-adjusted life years or DALYs, with one DALY equivalent to one year of healthy life lost.
Skin diseases accounted for 1.79% of the global burden of disease as measured in DALYS from 306 diseases and injuries in 2013, with skin and subcutaneous diseases responsible for 41.6 million DALYS that year, according to the article by corresponding author Chante Karimkhani of the University of Colorado, Denver, and Global Burden of Disease researchers and collaborators.
‘Skin and subcutaneous diseases were the 18th leading cause of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) worldwide in the Global Burden of Disease 2013 study.’
Data for the report were drawn from more than 4,000 sources including medical literature, population-based disease registries, hospital data, studies and autopsy data.
Skin diseases ranked in decreasing order by DALYS were: dermatitis (9.3 million DALYs), acne vulgaris (7.2 million DALYs), urticaria (hives, 4.7 million DALYs), psoriasis (4.7 million DALYs), viral skin diseases (such as viral warts, 4 million DALYs)), fungal skin diseases (3.8 million DALYs), scabies (1.7 million DALYs), melanoma (1.6 million DALYs), pyoderma and cellulitis (bacterial skin diseases, 1.1 million DALYs each), keratinocyte carcinoma (such as basal and squamous cell cancers, 820,000 DALYs), decubitus ulcer (bedsores, 660,000 DALYs) and alopecia areata (290,000 DALYs).
Skin and subcutaneous diseases were the 18th leading cause of DALYs worldwide in the Global Burden of Disease 2013 study and, excluding mortality, skin diseases were the fourth largest cause of disability worldwide, according to the article.