COPENHAGEN, DENMARK--(Marketwired - October 27, 2016) - LEO Innovation Lab, an independent unit established by LEO Pharma focused on non-pharmaceutical solutions for skin conditions, in partnership with independent think tank The Happiness Research Institute, today unveiled the results of a first-of-its kind, multinational study of the happiness levels of people living with psoriasis that finds direct links between how happy a person feels and the condition of their skin. The results of the digital study will be presented on PsoHappy's website on October 29 to coincide with World Psoriasis Day -- the annual, global event to raise awareness of psoriasis.

Created in Denmark -- ranked 'the happiest nation on earth' three times out of the last four years by the UN World Happiness Report -- the "PsoHappy" study of more than 1,300 people shows those living with psoriasis are 20% less happy than the average American living without psoriasis. Half of the people who participated in the study say they have low self-esteem and 41% say they rarely feel confident. Comprised of weekly surveys sent to self-selected respondents who have downloaded the PsoHappy app, the study also indicates that people with psoriasis are more likely to be unhappy if they come from lower income brackets, or if their skin condition is on exposed parts of the body such as the face, hands or feet.

"PsoHappy has shown what most people with skin conditions have known for a long time -- that living with a debilitating skin disease has an impact on mental health," said John Zibert, Chief Medical Officer at LEO Innovation Lab. "Previous research has focused primarily on quality of life, which can be perceived differently by individuals. However, happiness is something we all can relate to."

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "psoriasis is a serious global problem with at least 100 million individuals affected worldwide." Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West, Cara Delevingne and Alan Carr have spoken publicly about how living with psoriasis has affected them and continue to influence public opinion about the skin disease.

"The UN's World Happiness Report2 argues that happiness provides a better indicator of human welfare than income, poverty, education, health and good government measured separately," said Meik Wiking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute. "The report says that people are happier living in societies where there is less happiness inequality. To design effective social and economic policies, policymakers need a measure of individuals' well-being and need to use the results to unearth different and more powerful ways to help people."

Do you suffer from psoriasis or know someone who does? The PsoHappy research is ongoing in its exploration of the wellbeing, happiness and quality of life of people living with psoriasis. Participate in the digital study here:

About The Happiness Research Institute
The Happiness Research Institute is an independent think tank focusing on life satisfaction, happiness and quality of life. Its mission is to inform decision makers of the causes and effects of human happiness, make subjective well-being part of the public policy debate, and improve the quality of life for citizens across the world.

About LEO Innovation Lab
LEO Innovation Lab is an independent unit, established by LEO Pharma as part of a long-term strategic decision to focus on patient needs. We don't develop medical treatments -- instead we look at all the aspects of everyday life that can affect a person who has a skin condition. The solutions are focused primarily on e-Health and add-on devices. LEO Innovation Lab is a small and agile unit, where innovation thrives and solutions are tested and brought to market at a fast pace. LEO Innovation Lab has satellites in Copenhagen, London, Paris, San Francisco and Toronto.

As LEO Pharma is owned entirely by the LEO Foundation and has no external shareholders, its profits are reinvested in the company to support the overall mission: To help people achieve healthy skin.

Notes to Editors

Source: WHO Global Report on Psoriasis(1)

Dr. Oleg Chestnov, Assistant Director-General, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, World Health Organization quotes:

"Much of the suffering caused by this common and complex disease can be avoided."

"Many people in the world suffer needlessly from psoriasis due to incorrect or delayed diagnosis, inadequate treatment options and insufficient access to care, and because of social stigmatization."

"Governments and other partners have a key role to play in addressing the unnecessary social consequences of psoriasis by the challenging the myths and behaviors that lead to the exclusion of patients from health-care settings and daily life."

Source: LEO Innovation Lab -- Psoriasis -- the facts

  • Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales
  • An increased production of skin cells contribute to lesions
  • It is not contagious
  • Patches primarily appear on the scalp, elbows, knees and back, but can appear anywhere on the body
  • Symptoms can start at any age but mostly affect younger adults and those over 50 years old
  • The severity of the condition varies greatly from person to person
  • It's a chronic disease that usually involves periods when you have no symptoms or mild symptoms, followed by periods when symptoms are more severe
  • There's no cure but symptoms can be managed for most individuals.

1 [1] WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data Global report on psoriasis. 1.Psoriasis -- epidemiology. World Health Organization. ISBN 978 92 4 156518 9 (NLM classification: WR 205)
2 World Happiness Report 2016 Update (Vol. I) by Helliwell, J., Layard, R., & Sachs, J. New York: Sustainable Development Solutions Network

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Media Contact:
Lynda Kaye
Kaye Public Relations for LEO Innovation Lab