The prevalence and persistence of atopic dermatitis in urban United States children

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology








© 2019 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Background: Previous studies found that childhood atopic dermatitis (AD) and asthma are associated with residence in urban areas. However, little is known about the prevalence and determinants of AD in US urban populations and its impact on quality-of-life (QOL) and asthma. Objective: To determine AD prevalence and persistence, sociodemographic predictors thereof, and association with QOL and atopic comorbidities in US urban children. Methods: We analyzed data from The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a prospective cohort study of 4898 women and their children born in 20 large US cities between 1998 and 2000. AD prevalence was determined at ages 5, 9, and 15 years, and stratified by sex, race/ethnicity, and household poverty income level. Results: The prevalences (95% confidence interval [CI]) of childhood AD were 15.0% (11.0%-18.9%), 15.1% (11.5%-18.7%), and 14.5% (10.4%%-18.5%) at ages 5, 9, and 15 years, respectively. Female sex (multivariable repeated measures logistic regression; adjusted odds-ratio [95% CI]: 1.56 [1.02-2.37]) and black race (1.80 [1.07-3.01]) were associated with persistent AD across all 3 ages. Children with AD at ages 5 and 15 (2.63 [1.42-4.86]), 5, 8 and 15 (1.47 [1.02-2.12]) and 9 and 15 years (1.61 [1.00-2.60]) had higher odds of poor/fair/good overall health. Children with AD at ages 5 and 9 years had the highest odds of ever having asthma (adjusted odds ratio [95% confidence interval]: 6.05 [5.88-6.22]), followed by children with AD at ages 5, 9, and 15 years (3.17 [3.07%-3.27]). Conclusion: Atopic dermatitis prevalence and persistence were highest in US urban children who were female or black. Urban children with persistent AD were more likely to have poor QOL and asthma.

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