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Global Skin Disease Morbidity and Mortality

The Institute of Health Metrics has recently updated its findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The study seeks to measure the burden of skin disease worldwide, extracting data from more than 4,000 sources including systematic reviews, surveys, disease registries, hospital data, and cohort studies.

The study has found that skin diseases remain a major cause of disability worldwide. Skin diseases are the eighteenth leading cause of global disability-adjusted life years. Excluding mortality, they are also the fourth leading cause of disability in the world.

Skin conditions contributed 1.79 percent to the global burden of disease from 306 diseases and injuries in 2013. That 1.79 percent can be broken down as follows:

  • Dermatitis – 0.38 percent
  • Acne vulgaris – 0.29 percent
  • Psoriasis – 0.19 percent
  • Urticaria – 0.19 percent
  • Viral skin diseases – 0.16 percent
  • Fungal skin diseases – 0.15 percent
  • Scabies – 0.07 percent
  • Malignant melanoma – 0.06 percent
  • Pyoderma – 0.05 percent
  • Cellulitis – 0.04 percent
  • Keratinocyte carcinoma – 0.03 percent
  • Decubitus ulcer – 0.03 percent
  • Alopecia areata – 0.01 persent
  • All other skin and subcutaneous diseases – 0.12 percent

Such a high prevalence of skin-related disability and mortality merits further research into their prevention and treatment.

Karimkhani, C., Dellavalle, R. P., Coffeng, L.E., Flohr, C., Hay, R. J, Langan, S. M., Nsoesie, E. O., Ferrari, A. J., Erskine, H. E., Silverberg, J. I., Vos, T., Naghavi, M. (2017) JAMA Dermatol. Global Skin Disease Morbidity and Mortality: An Update From the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. 153(5):406-412. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.5538

Interested in General Dermatology?

The HealthCert Professional Diploma of General Dermatology will teach you how to manage all major dermatological conditions in primary care. The courses are university quality-assured, CPD-accredited and count towards multiple Master degree pathways and clinical attachment programs in Australia and overseas. The program is delivered online.

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