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Is HS Associated With Substance Abuse or Psychiatric Disorders?

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is associated with substance abuse disorders and several psychiatric comorbidities, including schizophrenia, compared with the general population, according to findings from a recent meta-analysis.

Recent studies have suggested an association between chronic inflammatory skin disorders and psychiatric comorbidities; however, few have assessed this relationship among patients with HS.
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In a systematic review and meta-analysis, researchers analyzed data from 12 studies that reported on HS and psychiatric comorbidities, suicide, and substance abuse. They calculated odds ratios (OR) to determine the relationship between HS and these comorbidities.

The researchers found patients with HS had significantly higher odds of having schizophrenia compared with controls (OR, 1.66; 95% CI: 1.53-1.79), along with bipolar disorders (OR, 1.96; 95% CI: 1.65-2.33), depression (OR, 1.75; 95% CI: 1.44-2.13), anxiety (OR, 1.71; 95% CI: 1.51-1.92), and personality disorders (OR, 1.50, 95% CI: 1.18-1.92). In addition, HS was associated with suicide (OR, 2.08; 95% CI: 1.27-3.42), substance-related disorders (OR, 2.84; 95% CI: 2.33-3.46), and alcohol abuse (OR, 1.94; 95% CI: 1.43-2.64).

“For dermatologists treating patients with HS, screening for these comorbidities, psychiatric referral and adequately managing pain will improve the overall wellbeing of patients,” the researchers concluded.


Phan K, Huo YR, Smith SD. Hidradenitis suppurativa and psychiatric comorbidities, suicides and substance abuse: systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Transl Med. 2020;8(13):821. doi:10.21037/atm-20-1028

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