Psoriatic Arthritis: Prognosis, Life Expectancy, and Quality of Life
The Big Questions
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, you’re most likely wondering how this condition may affect your life—now and in the future.
What’s the prognosis for people with psoriatic arthritis? Can it affect your life expectancy? How does it influence your quality of life?
Click through the slideshow for the answers to these commonly asked questions and more.
Prognosis for Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is a serious chronic condition that can cause significant pain and disability. However, it’s usually mild, according to the University of Washington.
In most cases, the joint pain and inflammation caused by psoriatic arthritis responds well to treatment. You can manage your condition through medications and lifestyle changes.
You may need to take stronger medication or a combination of drugs to ease symptoms and prevent future damage to joints in more serious cases.
Life Expectancy: What You Need to Know
Psoriatic arthritis is not life-threatening. It affects your joints. At the same time, there is no known cure for the condition.
Some research has suggested that people with psoriatic arthritis have a slightly shorter life expectancy than the general population. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), those with the condition have a life expectancy that’s around three years less than those without it. Psoriatic arthritis patients also face a 60 percent greater mortality risk.
How Psoriatic Arthritis Hurts Quality of Life
Psoriatic arthritis causes many challenging symptoms that can greatly affect your quality of life. Symptoms include:
- joint pain
- decreased range of motion
Symptoms can make it tough to get through everyday activities like opening doors or lifting grocery bags. Psoriatic arthritis can also lead to disability in some cases.
It can also cause emotional distress from coping with new limitations.
Studies have proven that psoriatic arthritis affects quality of life. In a review published in Pharmacy and Therapeutics, researchers looked at 49 studies to compare quality-of-life outcomes for people with psoriatic arthritis to the general population.
Those with the condition experienced a “lower health-related quality of life.” They also experienced decreased physical function and an increased risk of mortality.
Other research found that patients with both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis may have more difficulty functioning than those with psoriasis alone.
The review showed that people who suffer from psoriasis experience a significantly lower quality of life than those who have other chronic conditions. Adding joint pain and stiffness to the mix can cause an even greater impact on daily activities.
There are a number of ways that psoriatic arthritis can erode quality of life. The Pharmacy and Therapeutics review also noted psychological effects of the condition and a decrease in social functioning.
Researchers recorded other negative aspects of the condition, such as impairment of daily activities and unhappiness about the way that their condition is treated. NICE reports that psoriatic arthritis can also hurt work performance.
Taking Steps Toward Wellness
While the prognosis for people with psoriatic arthritis is good, the disease can affect life expectancy, as well as quality of life. The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) suggests taking steps to manage pain and improve your general wellness. Talk to your doctor about medication options and make time for regular exercise.
NPF also advises taking steps to ensure that your work environment supports your condition. Talk to your manager or human resources about making your workspace more comfortable for your joint pain. Request alternate accommodations if needed to ensure that you are able to do your best job.
- Life with psoriatic arthritis: In the workplace - National Psoriasis Foundation . (n.d.). Symptoms | Types | Treatments | Research | Finding a Cure | Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis - National Psoriasis Foundation . Retrieved October 16, 2013, from http://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriatic-arthritis/in-the-workplace
- Life with psoriasis: Psoriatic arthritis pain management - National Psoriasis Foundation . (n.d.). Symptoms | Types | Treatments | Research | Finding a Cure | Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis - National Psoriasis Foundation . Retrieved October 16, 2013, from http://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriasis/psoriatic-arthritis-pain-management
- Pharmacy and Therapeutics: The Burden of Psoriatic Arthritis. (n.d.). U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3008384/
- Psoriatic Arthritis - Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis and Clinical Manifestations. (n.d.). Arthritis Information, News and Resources from the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. Retrieved October 16, 2013, from http://www.hopkinsarthritis.org/arthritis-info/psoriatic-arthritis/
- Psoriatic Arthritis. (n.d.). Spondylitis Association of America - Ankylosing Spondylitis and Related Disease Information & Support. Retrieved October 16, 2013, from http://www.spondylitis.org/about/psoriatic.aspx
- Psoriatic Arthritis | UW Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Seattle. (n.d.). Home | UW Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Seattle. Retrieved October 16, 2013, from http://www.orthop.washington.edu/?q=patient-care/articles/arthritis/psoriatic-arthritis.html
- Psoriatic arthritis - etanercept, infliximab, & adalimumab (review): appraisal consultation document. (n.d.). National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Retrieved October 16, 2013, from http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/index.jsp?action=article&o=47825