Atopic dermatitis (AD) places a considerable burden on mental health and quality of life for patients with disease of even moderate severity, according to a cross-sectional study of data from the Atopic Dermatitis in America survey.
Among adults with severe AD, the mean score on the Dermatology Life Quality Index was 11.4, with a score of 6-30 representing a moderate to large effect on quality of life. The mean for those with moderate disease, 5.9, was just below that range, but 37% of that group did have scores between 6 and 30,, of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and her associates said in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
The mean on the Dermatology Life Quality Index for all AD patients was 4.1, with 24% falling into the moderate to large effect range, compared with 1% and 5% for controls. Results were similar on the mental health measure used, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Mean HADS-anxiety scores were 7.0 for all AD patients and 4.7 for controls, and HADS-depression means were 5.8 for AD patients and 3.6 for controls, the investigators reported.
Analysis by disease severity found that 32% of those with moderate AD and almost 56% with severe AD had clinical anxiety (HADS-A score of 11-21), while somewhat lower prevalences were seen for clinical depression (HADS-D score of 11-21): 19.5% for those with moderate AD and 19.7% for patients with severe AD, Dr. Chiesa Fuxench and her associates said.
“An increasing number of studies provide evidence that AD is associated with marked [quality of life] impairment and increased health care costs with higher burden and costs in those with more severe disease. Additional studies should center on exploring those factors associated with AD, and AD disease severity, which lead to increased disease burden in this population,” they wrote.
Respondents to the Atopic Dermatitis in America survey were part of the GfK Knowledge Panel. The study involved a two-stage sampling process: one group of 1,278 adults determined prevalence ,and an oversample of 602 AD patients assessed severity differences.
Dr. Chiesa Fuxench has received research grants from Regeneron, Sanofi, Tioga, and Vanda for work related to atopic dermatitis and has received honoraria for CME work in atopic dermatitis sponsored by educational grants from Regeneron and Sanofi.