Patients with atopic dermatitis are more prone to depression and anxiety

Patients with atopic dermatitis, especially those with more severe skin manifestations, were at increased risk for depression and anxiety compared to the general population.

The incidence of depression and anxiety may be higher in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) than in the general population, according to a recent study, and severe illness may also increase the risk of suicidal ideation. The results were published in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology.

As a chronic inflammatory skin disease, AD has been shown in previous research to increase the risk of depression and / or anxiety in patients. Notably, it has been suggested that this risk begins in childhood, with internalizing behaviors associated with mild and severe pediatric cases of AD.

Seeking to further investigate the association of psychological co-morbidities in people with AD, researchers at the Atopic Dermatitis Reference and Excellence Center in Leipzig, Germany, conducted a prospective, single-center, non-interventional patient study. under treatment registered in their university dermatology department.

In the study, 84 adult patients with AD (median age, 35.0 years; age range, 19.4 to 92.8 years; 44 women) were compared to controls matched by age and Healthy LIFE-Adult Cohort Gender for Incidence of Mental Health Problems. conditions, using multiple measurement scales to determine disease severity, behavioral health, and other variables:

  • Patient-Oriented AD Severity Score (PO-SCORAD)
  • Eczema area and severity index (EASI)
  • Patient-Oriented Eczema Measurement (POEM)
  • Dermatological quality of life index (DLQI)
  • Lubben Social Network Scale 6 (LSNS-6)
  • Depression scale from the Center for Epidemiological Studies (CES-D)
  • Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-D and -A)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale 7 (GAD-7)

Among patients with AD, the median (interquartile range) scores on PO-SCORAD were 40.4 (23.4-55.4); EASI, 9.3 (3.4-18.9); POEM, 16 (8-24); and DLQI, 10 (4-18).

Compared to controls, patients with AD had significantly higher scores on HADS, GAD-7, and CES-D (all P <.001 no significant difference in the lsns-6 score was observed between ad and control groups vs>P = .067).

Additionally, a significant correlation was found between skin severity (POEM) and depression / anxiety values ​​(GAD-7, CES-D and HADS-A and -D; all P <.001 as well for po-scorad with gad-7 and ces-d>P <.05 easi was not found to correlate with hads-a or ces-d.>

Thoughts of suicide in the past 12 months were identified in 18 patients with AD and 2 individuals in the control group, and those with AD were significantly more likely to have severe signs and symptoms of the disease compared to those without. serious.

In conclusion, the researchers said that patient-focused scores can help identify AD patients at high risk for psychological comorbidities.


Kage P, Poblotzki L, Zeynalova S, Zarnowskia J, Simon JC, Treudlera R. Depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation in patients with atopic eczema in a prospective study in Leipzig, Germany. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. Published online December 3, 2021. doi: 10.1159 / 000520159

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