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Br J Dermatol. 2017 Sep;177(3):837-844. doi: 10.1111/bjd.15497. Epub 2017 Jul 7.

High prevalence of alcohol use disorders in patients with inflammatory skin diseases.

Author information

Newcastle Dermatology, Newcastle University and Newcastle Dermatology, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.
Health and Social Care Institute, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, U.K.
Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.
Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University and Newcastle Dermatology, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.



There is a known association between psoriasis and heavy alcohol consumption. The association between heavy alcohol consumption and other inflammatory skin diseases remains to be defined.


To examine the prevalence of heavy drinking using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) in patients with inflammatory skin disease.


We conducted an observational cross-sectional study in a single hospital outpatient department. We recruited 609 patients with either psoriasis, eczema, cutaneous lupus or other inflammatory disorders, and a reference population with skin lesions. Primary outcome was the proportion of patients in each group with an alcohol use disorder (AUD).


The observed prevalence of AUD was 30·6% in patients with psoriasis, 33·3% in those with eczema, 12·3% in those with cutaneous lupus, 21·8% in those with other inflammatory disease and 14·3% in those with non-inflammatory disease. Odds ratios (OR) for AUD in patients in the inflammatory groups compared with those in the noninflammatory groups, adjusted for age and sex, were as follows: psoriasis 1·65 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0·86-3·17], eczema 2·00 (95% CI 1·03-3·85), lupus 1·03 (95% CI 0·39-2·71), other inflammatory disease 1·32 (95% CI 0·68-2·56). ORs were reduced if also adjusted for Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI). The prevalence of DLQI ≥ 11 was 31·1% for psoriasis, 43·7% for eczema, 17·5% for cutaneous lupus, 17·2% for other inflammatory disease and 2·8% for noninflammatory disease.


Patients with eczema attending a hospital clinic have been shown to have high levels of AUD of a similar level to patients with psoriasis and higher than patients with noninflammatory skin diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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