The prevalence of atopic dermatitis beyond childhood: A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies.

Abuabara, K. ; Yu, A.M. ; Okhovat, J.P. ; Allen, E. ; Langan, S.M. ;
The prevalence of atopic dermatitis beyond childhood: A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies.
Allergy, 2017;

There are sparse and conflicting data regarding the long-term clinical course of atopic dermatitis (AD). Although often described as a primarily childhood disease, newer population-based estimates suggest the prevalence of pediatric and adult disease may be similar. Our objective was to determine whether there is a decline in the prevalence of AD in population-based cohorts of patients followed longitudinally beyond childhood. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis including studies assessing AD prevalence across 3 or more points in time. The primary outcome was weighted overall risk difference (percentage decrease in AD prevalence). Of 2,080 references reviewed, 7 studies with 13,515 participants were included. Participants were assessed at 3-6 time points, ranging from age 3 months to 26 years. The percentage decrease in prevalence after age 12 was 1%, which was not significantly different from zero (95% confidence interval -2% to 5%). Similar results were found with other age cut-offs. In conclusion, the prevalence of AD in longitudinal birth cohort studies is similar in childhood and early adulthood. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.