Though atopic dermatitis is often regarded as infrequent in adulthood, only 40% of study subjects with current eczema reported onset of the disease in childhood, with most beginning after adulthood, according to data published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

In a national multicenter, population-based study, Dr. Giancarlo Pesce of the University of Verona (Italy) and his associates administered the GEIRD (Gene-Environment Interactions in Respiratory Diseases) screening questionnaire to 10,464 randomly selected adults aged 20-44 years and gathered data on the frequency and prevalence of doctor-diagnosed eczema, asthma, and hay fever, as well as sociodemographic characteristics and environmental determinants such as smoking habits, traffic, and local pollution levels.

The prevalence of current eczema was 8.1%; the prevalence of eczema with asthma and/or hay fever (EAH), which was adopted as a proxy of atopic dermatitis, was 3.4%. About 60% of the subjects with current eczema reported onset of the disease in adulthood. After adjusting for confounders, the risk of having eczema and EAH was 57% higher in women than in men, and the risk for EAH was 86% higher in women than in men.

Read the full article here: J. Eur. Acad. Dermatol. Venereol. 2015;29:1180-7 (doi: 10.1111/jdv.12784).