Association between atopic dermatitis and headaches throughout childhood and adolescence—A longitudinal birth cohort study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Pediatric Dermatology




dermatology; epidemiology; headache; migraine; pain; skin


© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC. Background/objectives: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is associated with sleep disturbance, psychosocial distress, anxiety, depression, and atopic comorbidities, which may be associated with increased headaches. Our objective was to understand the association of AD and comorbid asthma, sleep and mental health disturbances with headaches throughout childhood and adolescence. Methods: Data were analyzed from The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a longitudinal birth cohort study of 4898 urban children born in 1998-2000. Results: AD was associated with headaches at age 5 (adjusted odds ratio [95% confidence interval]: 2.14 [1.27-3.59]), 9 (1.69 [1.27-2.27]) and 15 years (1.71 [1.37-2.14]). AD at age 9 was associated with higher odds of subsequent headaches at age 15 (1.36 [1.05-1.76]). Children with AD at two (1.60 [1.12-2.29]) or all three (1.79 [1.16-2.75]) study-waves had higher odds of headaches at age 15 years. In multivariable repeated measures logistic regression models, significant two-way interactions were found for AD with sleep disturbance (4.59 [3.15-6.69]), attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder (2.85 [1.87-4.35]), asthma (2.87 [2.18-3.76]), anxiety (2.47 [1.76-3.48]) or depression (2.86 [1.89-4.34]) as predictors of headaches. Conclusion: Children and adolescents with AD, particularly those with sleep disturbances, atopic and mental health comorbidities, had increased headaches. Persistent childhood AD was associated with headaches in adolescence.