Higher rates of anxiety and depression found among patients with atopic dermatitis

A British Journal of Dermatology study has found substantially higher rates of anxiety and depression among US adults with atopic dermatitis, compared to those without. The study also found that anxiety and depression often go undiagnosed in these individuals.

In the population-based study of 2,893 adults representative of the US population, individuals with atopic dermatitis had higher anxiety and depression scores than those without atopic dermatitis. Virtually all patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis had symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Individuals with atopic dermatitis were also more likely to have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression by a clinician in the past year (40.0 percent versus 17.5 percent); however, many adults with atopic dermatitis who had borderline and/or abnormal anxiety or depression scores reported no diagnosis of anxiety or depression.

"The results highlight the mental health burden and complex comorbidities of atopic dermatitis in adults," said lead author Dr. Jonathan Silverberg, of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Dermatologists should consider these aspects in their clinical decision making. Atopic dermatitis patients can benefit from multidisciplinary care that addresses their skin signs and symptoms and these comorbidities."

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