L. Chan 1 , S. Dharmage2, B. Zeleke3, C. Lodge2, J.L. Perret2, M. Abramson3, A.J. Lowe2, J.C. Su4,5
Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inﬂam- matory skin disorder that can affect both children and adults. Most epidemiological studies conducted so far have focused on childhood AD. There is no population-based study of AD for adults in Australia, and little is known about the determinants of adult AD.
Aims: To estimate the prevalence of adult AD and its asso- ciated clinical and demographic factors in Australia.
Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using longitudinal data collected from the Tasmania Longitudi- nal Health Study (TAHS). The prevalence of adult AD was estimated at age 53 years using the International Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) criteria. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify associated socio- demographic and clinical characteristics.
Results: Of 3,609 participants, the prevalence of adult AD
was 8.8% (95% CI: 7.9–9.8%). Of these, 61% had adult-onset AD and 39% had childhood persistent AD. The phe- notype was different between adults with adult-onset or childhood persistent disease. In those with childhood per- sistent AD, the most commonly affected regions were elbow creases (50%) and behind the knees (55%). In adult-onset AD, the most commonly affected region was around the neck, eyes and ears (45%), followed by elbow creases (30%) and behind the knees (28%).
Conclusion: AD remains common in our middle aged adult population affecting 1 in 11 adults, and commonly commences after adolescence. Adult-onset AD may have a different phenotype compared to childhood persistent AD.