Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Association Found Between AD and Suicidality

JAMA Dermatology; ePub 2018 Dec 12; Sandhu, et al

Results of a recent meta-analysis suggest that patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) are at significantly increased risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Therefore, it is important for dermatology providers to be aware of this risk, screen for suicidality in patients with AD, and make mental health referrals when necessary. Researchers systematically searched for relevant articles published from 1946 to May 25, 2018. The search included observational studies that evaluated suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and completed suicide among patients with AD. They found:

  • The analysis identified 15 studies with a total of 4,770,767 participants, of whom 310,681 were patients with AD (52.7% female) and 4,460,086 served as controls (50.9% female).
  • Patients with AD were 44% more likely to exhibit suicidal ideation (pooled odds ratio, 1.44) and 36% more likely to attempt suicide (pooled odds ratio, 1.36) compared with patients without AD.
  • Studies investigating completed suicides in patients with AD had inconsistent results.


Sandhu JK, Wu KK, Bui T-L, Armstrong AW. Association between atopic dermatitis and suicidality. A systematic review and meta-analysis. [Published online ahead of print December 12, 2018]. JAMA Dermatology. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.4566.