GHP December

30 | ghp December 2016 Research & Development World’s First Study on Happiness and Skin Conditions Shows Psoriasis Causes Mental Health Issues he digital study of 1,400 people ahead of World Psoriasis Day shows those living with psoriasis are 24 per cent less happy than the average Brit. Half of people with psoriasis say they have low self-esteem and 41 per cent say they rarely feel confident. It also showed that people with psoriasis are more likely to be unhappy if they have a lower income or if their skin condition is on exposed parts of the body such as the face, hands or feet. There are 1.8 million people in the UK living with psoriasis and nearly half say it has a very large effect on their lives and 35 per cent often feel unable to control the important things in their lives. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West, Cara Delevingne and Alan Carr having spoken publicly about their experiences of living with psoriasis seems to have had little impact on the way other people feel about the disease. The research was conducted by the independent think tank Happiness Research Institute and LEO Innovation Lab an independent innovation unit established by LEO Pharma. A new digital study of its kind has proved what most people with skin conditions have known for a long time – living with a debilitating disease has an impact on their mental health. The research designed in Denmark (ranked ‘the happiest nation on earth’ three times out of the last four years by the UN World Happiness Report) is the world’s first large-scale, cross-national digital study of the happiness levels of people living with a disease and found direct links between how happy a person feels and the condition of their skin. John Zibert, Chief Medical Officer at LEO Innovation Lab, said: “Previous focus has primarily been on quality of life which can be perceived differently by individuals, however, happiness is something we all can relate to. “This important research is the first of its kind in the world and we now have documentary evidence of the impact that living with a chronic skin disease has on people’s lives. “It shows that those living with psoriasis are not only physically affected by the disease, but also the psychological effect can be important. “People with psoriasis see a decrease in their quality of life relating to decreased happiness, and are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, and may have suicidal thoughts.” Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, said, “the UN’s World Happiness Report argues that happiness provides a better indicator of human welfare than income, poverty, education, health and good government measured separately. “It says that people are happier living in societies where there is less inequality of happiness. Therefore, our research is important to everyone regardless of whether or not they have a skin condition. T