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Risk of Ocular Diseases in Adults with Atopic Dermatitis

June 15, 2017

Patients diagnosed with atopic dermatitis (AD) experienced a significant and disease severity-dependent increased risk of developing conjunctivitis, keratitis, and keratoconus compared to the general population, according to recent research by Thyssen and colleagues1 published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

To determine the prevalence and risk of ocular comorbidities in adult patients with AD—a common occurrence as the result of the disease itself or the use of medication—researchers examined patients over 18 years of age who were linked in nationwide registries. The adjusted hazard ratios (HR) of the study were estimated using Cox regression.

Of the 10,038 study participants, the researchers categorized 5766 and 4272 adults as having mild and severe AD, respectively. Among the patient groups, 1 prescription of anti-inflammatory ocular agents was claimed in 12.0% and 18.9% of patients with mild and severe AD. The adjusted analysis showed that the HR of conjunctivitis was 1.48 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15-1.90) for mild AD and 1.95 (95% CI, 1.51-2.51) for severe AD. The HR of keratitis was 1.66 (95% CI, 1.15-2.40) for mild AD and 3.17 (95% CI, 2.31-4.35) for severe AD. For adults with severe AD, the HR for keratoconus was 10.01 (95% CI, 5.02-19.96). The researchers found that AD was associated with “cataract only” in patients who were less than 50 years of age.


THyssen JP, Toft PB, Halling-Overgaard AS, Gislason GH, Skov L, Egeberg A. Incidence, prevalence, and risk of selected ocular disease in adults with atopic dermatitis [published online June 7, 2017]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2017.03.003.

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