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Review: Link for Physical Activity Atopic Dermatitis Unclear

Three studies identify positive association; three identify inverse association for exercise, AD

FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The correlation between physical activity and atopic dermatitis (AD) is unclear, according to a research letter published online Sept. 19 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

A. Kim, and Jonathan I. Silverberg, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, conducted a systematic review of the literature and a meta-analysis to examine the correlation between AD and vigorous physical activity. Seven articles with eight studies were included in the final analysis; five of these were included in the meta-analysis.

The researchers observed a positive correlation between AD and physical activity in three studies, an inverse correlation in three studies, and no correlation in one study. There were no studies of the correlation between exercise or physical activity and eczema severity. In a meta-analysis of four studies with 61,974 patients, 8.7, 8.8, and 23.8 percent of those with less than once weekly exercise, at least once weekly exercise, and at least three times weekly exercise, respectively, had a history of AD. In random-effects models, neither vigorous physical activity nor exercise at least once or three times weekly was associated with AD.

"Future studies are needed to address the knowledge gaps about the association of AD and physical activity," the authors write.

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