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Epidemiology of atopic dermatitis: a review

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Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common skin condition with significant associated social and financial burden. AD affects adults and children with worldwide prevalence rates of 1‐20%. International study of epidemiology and geographic variability in prevalence of AD has been conducted in three phases with 1,000,000 subjects in the third phase study. Prevalence continues to vary and has changed in different regions of the world. Nigeria, the United Kingdom and New Zealand had been areas of the highest prevalence; Latin America has emerged as a region of relatively high prevalence in follow up data. The prevalence of AD seems to have reached a plateau around 20% in countries with the highest prevalence, suggesting that AD may not be on a continued rise but that a finite number of individuals may be susceptible to the condition. Risk factors associated with increased prevalence include higher socioeconomic status, higher level of family education, smaller family size and urban environment. Research indicates that food allergy and atopic sensitization to environmental allergens may not be directly causal of the condition and that a non-atopic form of the condition exists. ∼60% of patients will experience remission. The number of patients who will progress through the atopic march to develop asthma and allergic rhinitis depends on the underlying features of their condition.
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Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; atopic march; epidemiology; financial burden; food allergy; prevalence; social burden; urban environment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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