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A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2014 May;173(5):317-9

language: English

Anxiety as risk factor for vulvar lichen sclerosus et atrophicus

Grasso F. 1, Grasso V. 2

1 Clinica Ostetrica e Ginecologica, Ospedale Santo Bambino, Catania, Italia;
2 Centro Medico Le Zagare, Catania, Italia


AIM: Vulvar lichen sclerosus et atrophicus (LSA) is a chronic mucocutaneous dermatoses with a multifactorial pathogenesis. Women are more commonly affected than men (10 to 1 ratio), particularly around and after menopause. Although pathogenesis hasn’t been clearly identified yet, several studies showed a cutaneous immune system involvement. Itching is the main symptom, often long-standing. Other symptoms are: burning, mucocutaneous dryness, spontaneous pain and during intercourses, dysuria. Aim of the study was to determine the involvement of the anxiety status in vulvar LSA.
METHODS: Twenty-five women diagnosed as having vulvar LSA were studied. Anxiety was evaluated by the Hamilton Anxiety scale. The results were contrasted with those obtained in a control series of the same number of subjects (n = 25) matched for age and sex.
RESULTS: Among patients diagnosed with LSA, there were 6 cases of severe anxiety (24%), 16 moderate anxiety (64%) and a case of mild anxiety (4%); no anxiety was reported in 2 patients (8%). In the control group there were only 3 cases of mild anxiety (12%) while no anxiety was reported in 22 patients (88%); no cases of moderate or severe anxiety were registered. Significantly greater anxiety was observed among patients with LSA than in the control group.
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows as patients suffering from LSA already have a psychic labile condition with an anxiety degree that will certainly impact on the variability and the progress of LSA and probably could have a causal role in the development of the disease.

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