Resource Utilization and Quality of Life of Patients with Hidradenitis Suppurativa in Canada: Results from a Population-Based Survey


      Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a serious and recurrent skin disease that usually affects areas bearing apocrine sweat or sebaceous glands. These cysts can be very painful and may persist for years. Complete healing is usually not possible and progression varies between people, with some patients requiring multiple surgeries. Although burden to patients is significant in HS, there is limited information on patients’ resource utilization and on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The aim of this study was to describe the resource utilization and the HRQoL of patients with HS.


      A survey was conducted to identify HS cases using a web-based panel of respondents from all Canadian provinces in proportions reflecting the population distribution. HS patients completed a questionnaire, on treatment regimen, physician consultation, hospitalizations and HRQoL.


      Among the 10,002 people of the general population, 3.84% were considered as HS cases. Among the 384 HS patients, 16.1% required surgical opening/emptying of the boils, 33.2% visited a dermatologist and 36.6% a general practitioner. In the 12 months preceding the survey, 23.9% underwent diagnostic tests, 5.5% had emergency visits and 4.7% of patients were hospitalized. HS decreases HRQoL of patients. On average, patients had a level of pain of 5.2 on a 0 to 10 Likert scale (0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain). Furthermore, in the last 6 months preceding data collection, HS has caused embarrassment or shame in 45.3% of cases and has restricted patient’s movement in 45.3% of cases.


      This was the first attempt to estimate the resource utilization and the HRQoL of HS patients in Canada. Results indicate that HS is associated with significant resource utilization and it greatly affects patients’ HRQoL.