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A common and devastating ailment that is associated with depression and anxiety is atopic eczema; however, the exact nature of this association still remains unclear.
A cohort study was performed to investigate the temporal correlation between atopic eczema and new depression/anxiety. The cohort study used data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, which was related to hospital admissions data.
Adults with atopic eczema from 1998-2016 identified with a confirmed algorithm and up to 5 people without atopic eczema matched on date of diagnosis, sex, age and general practice were included. The hazard ratio (HR) for new depression/anxiety was estimated with the help of stratified Cox regression accounting for age, sex, calendar period, glucocorticoid treatment, Index of Multiple Deprivation, smoking, obesity and harmful alcohol use. In all, 526,808 adults with atopic eczema were identified and were matched to 2,569,030 without atopic eczema.
There appeared to be an association between atopic eczema and increased incidence of new depression and anxiety. A stronger effect of atopic eczema was noted on depression with growing atopic eczema severity compared with no atopic eczema: mild, 1.10; moderate, 1.19; and severe, 1.26. A dose-response correlation was less obvious for new anxiety diagnosis compared with no atopic eczema: mild, 1.14; moderate, 1.21; and severe, 1.15.
The study concluded that adults with atopic eczema are more prone to develop new depression and anxiety. A dose-response relationship with atopic eczema severity was observed for depression.
Source: Schonmann Y, Mansfield KE, Hayes JF, et al. Atopic Eczema in Adulthood and Risk of Depression and Anxiety: A Population-Based Cohort Study. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2020;8(1):248-257.e16. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2019.08.030