Ichthyosis Linked to Mood Disorders


People living with ichthyosis may be at higher risk for mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.

People living with Ichthyosis may be at higher risk for mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine identified 334 patients with congenital ichthyosis from the All Of Us research program, a large and diverse cohort organized by the National Institutes of Health. 

Researchers found patients with ichthyosis were more likely to have diagnoses of depression (41.9% vs. 23.8%) or anxiety (15.9% vs. 7%) compared to matched controls. Associations between ichthyosis and mood disorders were strong even when adjusting for smoking status and hyperthyroidism.

"We were able to leverage a large and diverse database on US adults to show that ichthyosis is associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety," says senior study author Jeffrey Cohen, MD, a professor at Yale School of Medicine, in a news release. "Demonstrating this important association will help improve the holistic care of individuals with these rare medical conditions."

The results support a growing body of evidence connecting skin diseases like ichthyosis with long term mood disorders. Past studies have shown lower reported quality of life for those affected with ichthyosis. Researchers say these quality of life challenges may lead to the development of depression or anxiety.

Researchers say standards of care in ichthyosis treatment options should include routine quality of life and mental health assessments.

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