Atopic Dermatitis Increases other Disease Risks


Adults with atopic dermatitis are at greater risk of systemic infections.

The risk for a range of systemic infections is greater in adults with atopic dermatitis (AD) than those without, and is further increased in those having an additional atopic disease such as asthma or allergic rhinitis, according to new population-based study.


Tissa Hata, M.D., Division of Dermatology, University of California, San Diego and program trainee, Saisindhu Narala, B.S., presented their findings from data obtained from approximately 34,000 adult participants of the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, on July 29 at the 2016 American Academy of Dermatology Summer Meeting in Boston.


"Only few studies have investigated infectious complications in AD on a systemic level," the investigators noted.


The infectious conditions reported in the population included pneumonia/influenza, strep throat/tonsillitis, sinusitis, head or chest cold, or other infectious disease.  Analysis of the illness occurrences were controlled for such potential confounding factors as age, sex, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, history of diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), history of malignancy, and hypertension.


The increased odds for infection was calculated from survey multivariable logistic regression and reported as the adjusted odds ratio (aOR):

The increased risk of pneumonia/influenza, for example, in adults with AD relative to those without was aOR=1.73 (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 1.54-1.95, p< 0.001). Those with an additional atopic disease were at significantly increased risk of over those with just AD with aOR=1.62 (95% CI 1.28-2.06 p<0.001).


The adults with AD had increased odds of having each of the studied infections relative to those without AD, and those with an additional atopic condition had greater odds than those with just AD for all conditions but strep throat/tonsillitis.


"These findings suggest that underlying immune dysfunction may be contributing to microbial susceptibility," the investigators indicated.  "Further studies are warranted to characterize the burden of infectious disease in this population."

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