While studies over the recent years have contributed to an improved understanding of psoriasis, there are still significant gaps in knowledge related to the epidemiology of this serious, chronic disease and trends in incidence over time. The World Health Organization (WHO), reported in 2013 that the worldwide prevalence of psoriasis is around 2%, but that studies in developed countries have declared prevalence rates of more than twice the global estimate at an average of 4.6%.
The project’s initial task therefore will be to establish a credible and reliable database recording the prevalence of psoriasis worldwide and by country. “By gathering data on the prevalence of psoriasis from as many countries as possible we will be able to form a clear picture of the burden of psoriasis worldwide and in so doing inform better decision making on the use of resources,” says Professor Wolfram Sterry, president of the ILDS.
While gathering detailed information on prevalence, the initiative will undertake to build a framework for improved collection of data on the burden of psoriasis. In the long-term, the aim is to look at incidence over time and the burden associated with comorbidities as well as the economic impact of psoriasis. “The atlas project is about driving constant improvement in the understanding of psoriasis and encouraging the ongoing collection of data and research,” according to Professor Christopher Griffiths, president of the IPC.
The development of a Global Psoriasis Atlas is a long-term project that seeks both to drive continuous improvement in the understanding of psoriasis and uncover how it affects both the individual and society at large. Due to lack of evidence, among other factors, recognition of psoriasis as a serious, noncommunicable, chronic disease that is widespread and represents a significant public health challenge is poor – at both the local and global level. Lars Ettarp, president of IFPA explains that, “building an evidence base that all stakeholders can use to advocate for improved treatment, access to care and recognition of psoriasis is a priority. Only once we truly understand the burden will we be able to command the recognition that people living with psoriasis deserve.”
About the Global Psoriasis Atlas Project
The objectives of this joint project are to:
- Build an evidence base that stakeholders can use to advocate for improved treatment, access to care and recognition of psoriasis as a priority of public healthcare policy.
- Unite all stakeholders on one mutually beneficial agenda that works towards improving the lives of people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
- Encourage collection of data and research into psoriasis that could ultimately lead to better use of resources, as well as improvements in treatment and care.
- Enable benchmarking within and between countries by providing all stakeholders with local and regional evidence that is consistent and comparable.
 World Health Organisation. Psoriasis report by the Secretariat. Executive board, 133 session, provisional agenda item 6.2. 5 April 2013.