Atopic Dermatitis Greatly Impacts Quality of Life for Children

In an international study of the United States, Canada, Europe (including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom), and Japan, researchers assessed the disease burden of atopic dermatitis (AD) in children. They observed a substantial and multidimensional impact of AD on itch, sleep disturbance, skin pain, and health-related quality of life, as well as comorbidities and productivity losses. The results of the study were published as part of the American Academy of Dermatology Virtual Meeting Experience 2020.

This cross-sectional, web-based study included children with AD (aged 6-11 years) who, along with their parents, self-reported outcomes between Sept. 26, 2018, and Feb. 20, 2019. Researchers assessed the following outcomes: Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure, Numerical Rating Scale, Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index, atopic comorbidities, and total number of missed school days during the past four weeks.

A total of 1,681 children with AD were surveyed and stratified by disease severity (mild AD, n=1,112; moderate AD, n=506; severe AD, n=63). Parents of children with AD responded to all survey questions for 70.2% to 84.1% of survey responses, while children responded to health-related quality of life questions for 15.9% to 29.8% of survey responses. Baseline demographics were similar across disease severity levels. At the time of the survey, mean patient age was nine years.

Mean scores of itch, sleep disturbance, skin pain, and health-related quality of life worsened as AD severity increased. Children with severe AD reported up to 10.9 missed school days during the past four weeks compared with 4.5 and 6.5 days for those with mild and moderate AD, respectively. Atopic comorbidities were more frequently reported among children with severe AD, of which hay fever and asthma were the most common.

The study is limited by its use of self-reporting from patients and parents.

The high disease burden among the patient population “implies that there is a major unmet therapeutic need in the management of children with moderate-to-severe AD,” the researchers concluded.

Weidinger S, Simpson EL, Eckert L, et al. The Patient-Reported Disease Burden in Pediatric Patients with Atopic Dermatitis (AD): A Cross-Sectional Study in the United States (US), Canada, Europe, and Japan. Presented during the AAD Virtual Meeting Experience 2020, June 12-14, 2020.