Conference Coverage

Study finds AD accounts for hundreds of thousands of annual ED visits


Key clinical point: ED visits for atopic dermatitis are common, and their numbers are growing.

Major finding: An estimated 1.86 million ED visits in the United States from 2006 to 2012 were linked to a primary diagnosis of AD.

Study details: Analysis of data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample for 2006-2016.

Disclosures: No study funding was reported. The authors had no relevant disclosures.

Source: Silverberg J et al. Poster 7021.



– A new study finds that primary diagnoses of atopic dermatitis (AD) are made hundreds of thousands of times in United States emergency departments each year.

The numbers appear to be rising along with costs, researchers reported, and there are signs of disparities, with poorer people more likely to have an ED visit with a primary diagnosis of AD. The study was presented in a poster at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Dr. Jonathan Silverberg of Northwestern University, Chicago

Dr. Jonathan Silverberg

“Access to outpatient dermatologic care needs to be improved,” study investigator Jonathan I. Silverberg, MD, PhD, of the department of dermatology, Northwestern University, Chicago, said in an interview. “Since AD is a chronic disorder that can be managed in the outpatient setting most of the time, it is likely that improved outpatient access and care and tighter control of AD would result in fewer [ED] visits and a considerable costs savings in the long run.”

He and his coauthor, Lauren Kwa, also with the department of dermatology at Northwestern, conducted the analysis to better understand the role of AD in emergency care. “Many AD patients experience severe, unpredictable flares and worsening chronic disease that warrant urgent treatment,” Dr. Silverberg said. “However, patients typically don’t have instant access to outpatient dermatological care and may be forced to turn to the urgent care setting.”

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