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Dr. Steven Ang, Dr. Leo Kah Woon, 11 Jul 2018
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Atopic dermatitis ups mortality risk in adults

23 Feb 2018

Atopic dermatitis (AD) in adults is associated with an increased risk of death, a recent study has found. Furthermore, AD patients have a slightly elevated risk of death from cardiovascular, urogenital and infectious diseases, but the absolute risk is very low.

A total of 8,686 patients were matched with 86,860 controls in this study that investigated cause-specific death rates and risk in adults with AD.

Patients with AD had significantly elevated risk for death due to any cause (hazard ratio [HR], 1.27; 95 percent CI, 1.11–1.45). Significant causes included the following: cardiovascular (HR, 1.45; 1.07–1.96), infectious (HR, 3.71; 1.43–9.60) and urogenital diseases (HR, 5.51; 1.54–19.80).

In addition, there was no increased mortality risk due to cancer, endocrine, neurologic, psychiatric, respiratory or gastroenterologic disease.

The investigators performed cross-linkage of nationwide healthcare and cause of death registers. Adults with AD were matched 1:10 with controls. Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate incidence rates per 1,000 person-years and HRs of cause-specific death.

“The results might not be generalizable to patients seen exclusively by primary care physicians,” according to the investigators.

Apart from mortality risk, AD may have significant impact on adults. A recent article has suggested that visible lesions “necessarily have consequences on all aspects of everyday life, including sleep, and professional, social, family and emotional life,” as well as financial consequences. Furthermore, AD can greatly affect quality of life and be a heavy burden to these adult patients. [Ann Dermatol Venereol 2017;144(suppl 5):VS23-VS28]

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