Prevalence and associations of fatigue in childhood atopic dermatitis: a cross-sectional study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV




BACKGROUND: Fatigue is a symptom that can negatively impact patients' quality of life. However, the relationship of AD with fatigue has not been fully studied, especially in children. OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of fatigue in AD patients, and whether AD severity, demographics and comorbidities are associated with increased fatigue in children. METHODS: A cross-sectional observational study was performed among 248 children with AD. Pediatric patients (ages 8-17 years) and parents (of children ages 0-17 years) completed a questionnaire, including demographics, history of atopic comorbidities, and validated severity measures of AD, itch, pain, sleep disturbance, sleep-related impairment and fatigue. AD severity was also assessed by clinician-reported Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI), Scoring AD (SCORAD) and Investigator's Global Assessment (IGA). Fatigue was assessed using Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Pediatric Fatigue T-score. RESULTS: Most children with AD had no (38.6%) or mild (32.1%) fatigue, with fewer having moderate (27.2%) or severe (2%) fatigue. Moderate/severe PROMIS Pediatric fatigue T-scores were increased with moderate (25.7%/1.4%) and severe (39.3%/5.4%) IGA vs. mild IGA (18.0%/0.0%) and those with 5-6 (44.4%/0.0%) and 7 (44.2%/5.2%) nights of SD from eczema. Moderate-severe PROMIS Pediatric Fatigue T-scores were associated with history of hay fever (adjusted OR [95% Cl]: 2.803 [1.395-5.632]) and family income (<$100,000: 3.049 [1.294-7.181]), but inversely with Black (0.40 [0.168-0.969] and AAPI (0.285 [0.094-0.859]) race. In multivariable regression models controlling for demographic factors, PROMIS Pediatric Fatigue T-score were significant with more severe scores for IGA, POEM, EASI, SCORAD, NRS-itch, SCORAD-itch, average itch in the past 7 days, PROMIS Pediatric Pain severity, PROMIS Pediatric SD, PROMIS Pediatric SRI, SCORAD-sleep, and more frequent SD from AD. CONCLUSIONS: Fatigue is a common yet underappreciated symptom in children with AD, particularly those with moderate-severe AD, and warrants more attention in clinical practice and trials.