Global Prevalence of Eczema Estimated for Children, Teens

Considerable variation seen in prevalence, with region and income level accounting for some heterogeneity

THURSDAY, Feb. 9, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The global prevalence of eczema is 6.0 percent in children and has increased over time, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Clinical & Experimental Allergy.

Sinéad Máire Langan, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and colleagues examined eczema prevalence, severity, and lifetime prevalence in global centers participating in the Global Asthma Network (GAN) Phase I study (2015 to 2020), an international collaborative study arising from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children (ISAAC).

GAN Phase I data were analyzed from 74,361 adolescents aged 13 to 14 years and 47,907 children aged 6 to 7 years. The researchers found that a median of 6 percent of children and adolescents had symptoms of current eczema, while symptoms of severe eczema were reported by 1.1 and 0.6 percent of adolescents and children, respectively. For adolescents and children, small overall 10-year increases in current eczema prevalence (0.98 and 1.21 percent, respectively) and in severe eczema (0.26 and 0.23 percent, respectively) were reported over 27 years after adjustment for world region and income; larger increases were seen in lifetime prevalence (2.71 and 3.91 percent for adolescents and children, respectively). Considerable variation was seen in 10-year change between centers, with evidence that region and income level explained some of this heterogeneity.

“Global research efforts are needed to address the burden related to eczema with continued international efforts to identify strategies to prevent the onset of eczema and to better manage the impact on individuals, their families, and health service,” the authors write.

The GAN and ISAAC studies were partially funded by pharmaceutical companies.

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