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Atopic Dermatitis Tied to Autoimmune Diseases

Findings strongest for autoimmune diseases involving the skin, the gastrointestinal tract, or connective tissue

woman showing a rash below her elbow

MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Autoimmune disease comorbidity among adults with atopic dermatitis is common, according to a study recently published the British Journal of Dermatology.

Lina U. Ivert, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues used Swedish national health care registers (1968 to 2016) to examine the association between atopic dermatitis and autoimmune diseases. The analysis included 104,832 cases of atopic dermatitis and 1,022,435 age- and sex-matched healthy controls.

The researchers found that atopic dermatitis was significantly associated with one or more autoimmune diseases compared with controls (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.97). This association was significantly stronger in the presence of multiple autoimmune diseases versus just one. The strongest associations were seen for autoimmune disorders involving the skin (aOR, 3.10), the gastrointestinal tract (aOR, 1.75), or connective tissue (aOR, 1.50). Men with atopic dermatitis had a stronger association with rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease versus women with atopic dermatitis. Findings remained consistent after adjusting for smoking and parental autoimmune disease.

"Greater awareness, screening, and monitoring of autoimmune comorbidities may relieve the disease burden in patients with atopic dermatitis and may give deeper insight into its pathogenesis," Ivert said in a statement.

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