Rates of Clinic Visits for Psoriasis Increased for Adults After Wildfires
Air pollution from wildfire linked to modestly increased rates of clinic visits for psoriasis among adults starting five weeks after fire
By Dermsquared Editorial Team | January 18, 2023
Air pollution from wildfires is associated with modestly increased rates of clinic visits for psoriasis among adults starting five weeks after the fire, according to a research letter published online Jan. 13 in JAMA Network Open .
Raj P. Fadadu, from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined whether clinic visits and online search interest in psoriasis were associated with wildfire air pollution. Data were obtained for outpatient dermatology visits for psoriasis at an academic medical center in San Francisco from Oct. 1, 2018, to Feb. 10, 2019 (including the California Camp Fire, which occurred 175 miles away from San Francisco); Oct. 1, 2015, to Feb. 10, 2016 (no fires); and Oct. 1, 2016, to Feb. 10, 2017 (no fires). In addition, weekly online search interest data were collected (search value index [SVI]) from Google Trends for the term "psoriasis" in 2018 in San Francisco.
A total of 986 clinic visits were analyzed (914 for adults). The researchers found that for adults, the earliest statistically significant increase in visits to the psoriasis clinic occurred at the five-week lag and peaked at the eight-week and nine-week lags (adjusted rate ratios, 1.32, 1.45, and 1.45, respectively). For pediatric patients, no significant results were seen. From Oct. 4, 2018, to Jan. 30, 2019, the mean weekly SVI for psoriasis increased starting at five weeks after the fire and peaking at eight weeks.
"Understanding environmental triggers is important for appropriately counseling patients regarding the risk of pollution-induced psoriasis flares as wildfires increase," the authors write.