From the Journals

Patient survey results highlight disease burden in atopic dermatitis



More than half of the patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD) had inadequately controlled disease, which was associated with a higher patient-reported disease burden compared with those who had adequately controlled disease, in a cross-sectional study of adults with AD.

Disease control aside, patient-reported burden was generally higher in those with moderate to severe AD versus patients with mild AD, according to Eric L. Simpson, MD, professor of dermatology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, and his coauthors.

“These results highlight the need for more effective therapies to better control AD, and support the importance of incorporating the patient perspective into assessment of AD beyond using measures of disease activity,” the researchers wrote. The study, published in JAMA Dermatology, was conducted before the introduction of dupilumab (Dupixent), the first biologic approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of moderate to severe AD, the authors noted. (The study was supported by the manufacturers of dupilumab.)

The patients were in the Adults With Atopic Dermatitis Reporting on Their Experience (AD-AWARE) study, a cross-sectional analysis of burden of illness in adults with AD in clinical practices at six U.S. academic medical centers. The 1,519 patients completed a self-administered, Internet-based questionnaire during 2013-2014. Among these patients, 830 (54.6%) had moderate to severe AD.

A total of 185 patients with moderate to severe disease received systemic immunomodulators or phototherapy, and of those, more than half (103, or 55.7%) reported inadequate disease control, according to the survey results.

Regardless of disease control, the patients with moderate to severe AD had a greater burden of disease compared with patients with mild AD, according to the investigators. Those burdens included more severe pain and itching, sleep effects, anxiety and depression, and impairment of health-related quality of life, they reported.

Those with moderate to severe disease had a mean of 5.7 days per week with itchy skin, and 22.8% reported itch lasting for more than half a day, compared with a mean of 2.7 days and 2.9%, respectively, for those with mild disease, all significant differences.

Those with moderate to severe disease also reported more trouble sleeping, along with more frequent sleep disturbances, longer time transitioning into sleep, and more use of nonprescription sleep medications than those with mild disease.

Among those with moderate to severe disease, those who were inadequately controlled had a higher level of itch intensity and more frequent itching (a mean of 6.3 days per week), compared with those who were controlled (a mean of 5.7 days per week).

In a previous study looking at patient burden in a phase 2b clinical trial of dupilumab, Dr. Simpson and his coinvestigators found that adults with moderate to severe AD reported a “multidimensional burden” of disease that included disease activity, patient-reported symptoms, quality-of-life impact, and comorbidities (J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016 Mar;74[3]:491-8).

The current analysis based on the AD-AWARE study was supported by dupilumab manufacturers Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi. Dr. Simpson reported disclosures related to Amgen, Anacor, Asubio, Celgene, Chugai, Galderma, Genentech, Medicis, Merck, and Regeneron; five of the 15 authors were employees of Sanofi or Regeneron. Other authors reported disclosures related to these and other companies.

SOURCE: Simpson EL et al. JAMA Dermatol. 2018 Jul 3. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.1572.

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