Atopic Dermatitis Not Likely a Risk Factor for Cardiometabolic Disease

Although adults with atopic dermatitis (AD) have an increased prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, including obesity and smoking, it is not likely that AD is an independent, clinically relevant risk factor for cardiometabolic disease, according to the results of a recent Danish systematic review and meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Investigators sought to compare the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes between patients with and without AD. Following a comprehensive literature search, they identified 2855 citations, with 53 considered relevant based on the title and abstract. Ultimately, 16 publications were included in the qualitative analysis, with 13 of them also included in a quantitative meta-analysis of crude data.

Analysis demonstrated no significant association between AD and unspecified but suspected type 2 diabetes (pooled odds ratio [OR] 1.11; 95% CI, 0.87-1.42), hypertension (pooled OR 1.16; 95% CI, 0.98-1.37), stroke (pooled OR 1.15; 95% CI, 0.95-1.39), or myocardial infarction (pooled OR 1.14; 95% CI, 0.83-1.56). A significant association was observed, however, between AD and angina pectoris (pooled OR 1.73; 95% CI, 1.27-2.37), based on results of 4 of the studies analyzed.

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Differences in estimates of CVD risk factors among the studies can probably be explained by disparities in study design and AD misclassification, as well as by variations in patients’ body weight, physical activity, corticosteroid use, and other lifestyle factors.

The investigators concluded that future well-designed prospective clinical studies are warranted to help elucidate the relationship of lifestyle and environmental factors, AD disease severity, and associated comorbidities.


Thyssen JP, Halling-Overgaard AS, Andersen YMF, Gislason G, Skov L, Egeberg A. The association between cardiovascular disease aAssnd type 2 diabetes in adults with atopic dermatitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis [published online December 6, 2017]. Br J Dermatol. doi: 10.1111/bjd.16215