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, I.E.; Langan, S.M.
Allergy 73(3): 696-704
ISSN/ISBN: 1398-9995 PMID: 28960336 DOI: 10.1111/all.13320
There are sparse and conflicting data regarding the long-term clinical course of atopic dermatitis (AD). Although often described as a 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 2080 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%-5%). Similar results were found with other age cut-offs. The prevalence of AD in longitudinal birth cohort studies is similar in childhood and adolescence/early adulthood.