Although palmoplantar pustulosis (PPP) can significantly impact quality of life, the factors underlying disease severity have not been studied.
To examine the factors associated with PPP severity.
An observational, cross-sectional study of 2 cohorts was conducted. A UK data set including 203 patients was obtained through the Anakinra in Pustular Psoriasis, Response in a Controlled Trial (2016-2019) and its sister research study Pustular Psoriasis, Elucidating Underlying Mechanisms (2016-2020). A Northern European cohort including 193 patients was independently ascertained by the European Rare and Severe Psoriasis Expert Network (2014-2017). Patients had been recruited in secondary or tertiary dermatology referral centers. All patients were of European descent. The PPP diagnosis was established by dermatologists, based on clinical examination and/or published consensus criteria. The present study was conducted from October 1, 2014, to March 15, 2020.
Demographic characteristics, comorbidities, smoking status, Palmoplantar Pustulosis Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PPPASI), measuring severity from 0 (no sign of disease) to 72 (very severe disease), or Physician Global Assessment (PGA), measuring severity as 0 (clear), 1 (almost clear), 2 (mild), 3 (moderate), and 4 (severe).
Among the 203 UK patients (43 men [21%], 160 women [79%]; median age at onset, 48 [interquartile range (IQR), 38-59] years), the PPPASI was inversely correlated with age of onset (r = -0.18, P = .01). Similarly, in the 159 Northern European patients who were eligible for inclusion in this analysis (25 men [16%], 134 women [84%]; median age at onset, 45 [IQR, 34-53.3] years), the median age at onset was lower in individuals with a moderate to severe PGA score (41 years [IQR, 30.5-52 years]) compared with those with a clear to mild PGA score (46.5 years [IQR, 35-55 years]) (P = .04). In the UK sample, the median PPPASI score was higher in women (9.6 [IQR, 3.0-16.2]) vs men (4.0 [IQR, 1.0-11.7]) (P = .01). Likewise, moderate to severe PPP was more prevalent among Northern European women (57 of 134 [43%]) compared with men (5 of 25 [20%]) (P = .03). In the UK cohort, the median PPPASI score was increased in current smokers (10.7 [IQR, 4.2-17.5]) compared with former smokers (7 [IQR, 2.0-14.4]) and nonsmokers (2.2 [IQR, 1-6]) (P = .003). Comparable differences were observed in the Northern European data set, as the prevalence of moderate to severe PPP was higher in former and current smokers (51 of 130 [39%]) compared with nonsmokers (6 of 24 [25%]) (P = .14).
The findings of this study suggest that PPP severity is associated with early-onset disease, female sex, and smoking status. Thus, smoking cessation intervention might be beneficial.